Pittsburgh Penguins: Opening for one player on second line


May 24, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Jussi Jokinen (36) skates up ice with the puck against the Ottawa Senators during the second period in game five of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

At a press conference Tuesday, Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Byslma said that there is an opening for a winger on the second line alongside Evgeni Malkin and James Neal. Byslma said that it’s going to come down to either Beau Bennett or Jussi Jokinen.

Bennett may very well end up on this line, as he is a very young explosive player who can score goals and dish out assists. Since he didn’t play much in the regular season last year, I think he has a lot to prove, even though he’s played on this line before.

It will be a good experience for Bennett if he makes this line because then he could look up to Malkin as a mentor and add new aspects to his game. The same goes with Neal, who has been one of the most productive Penguins in recent years; I think Beau could actually turn out to be a similar player.

Jokinen, on the other hand, could also be very well be on this line. He is known for his moves in the shootouts, but he can still score in regulation. In fact he did both in his first game as a Penguin against the Rangers back in April.

He’s also rumored to have been on the trade block because the Penguins need to get under the salary cap before the regular season arrives, which is less than 25 days away. The preseason starts in just five days.

Still, Jokinen is a very good player that may get this position as well. This is going to go down right to the wire but I really do believe that the younger Bennett will get the spot.