Three Free Agent Targets for Penguins Bottom Six

three free agent targets for penguins bottom six

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PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are looking for ways to improve their team this offseason. One key area they need to focus on is their bottom six, specifically their third line. With youngsters like Valtteri Puustinen, Sam Poulin, and Jonathan Gruden poised to battle for bottom positions, the Penguins can use some outside reinforcements.

With free agency still down the road, they will have to wait and see how contract negotiations play out. However, there is a large group of players poised to hit the open market that the Penguins would love to get their hands on. Here are just a few wingers the Pens could target if they reach free agency.

1. Michael Amadio 

Winger Michael Amadio could be the perfect choice if the Penguins want to prioritize consistency on their third line. The Stanley Cup champion has scored 10+ goals in three straight seasons despite playing less than 13:30 minutes of ice time per game. This past season, he put up 14 goals and 27 assists, playing primarily in a third-line role.

Amadio is also a reliable defensive player and penalty killer, and you can count on him for 15 goals. Pairing him with a veteran like Lars Eller and a gifted player like Valtteri Puustinen could create a potent third line and vastly improve the forward depth in Pittsburgh.

2. Dakota Joshua 

Of the players discussed here, Dakota Joshua will surely be the most sought-after. He opened eyes this past season in Vancouver, putting up career highs in 18 goals and 14 assists. He brings a combination of size, standing at 6-foot-3, and an improved scoring touch. He'd add some nasty edge to the Penguins lineup and be the perfect winger on a checking third line.

The Penguins will have to make a sweet offer to entice Joshua, however, as the NHL has also taken notice of him. He could cash in on a long-term deal Pittsburgh won't be comfortable offering, but that doesn't change how well he and the Pens are a fit.

3. Warren Foegele 

The Penguins have long been linked to forward Warren Foegele. The Edmonton Oilers' winger has been on the trade block the last few years and frequently mentioned in Pittsburgh's trade rumors. Now, his contract is expiring, and the two parties could finally unite in the summer.

Foegele just had the best offensive campaign of his career, racking up 20 goals and 41 points in the regular season. He has lineup versatility as well, so he can play on any line and fit in. Head coach Mike Sullivan values flexibility and loves to juggle his lines, so Foegele could be the best team fit as well.

The Penguins' bottom six needs to improve before next season. Although they may want the answers to come from in-house, they will more easily find a solution in the free agent market this summer.

Make sure you bookmark Inside the Penguins for the latest news, exclusive interviews, breakdowns, and so much more.

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