LATEST | Image of near-empty arena cause for concern for Eastern Conference team

Cooper Godin
March 16, 2024  (8:56 PM)

Pittsburgh Penguins arena nearly empty
Photo credit: Josh Yohe - X

It's safe to say that this season has been a struggle and a frustrating one for the Pittsburgh Penguins, lead by their new General Manager and President of Hockey Operations Kyle Dubas.

The fans are frustrated, there's no doubt about that, as the team sits seventh in the Metropolitan Division with a record of 29-28-9 through 66 games. It's looking more and more likely that the Penguins will miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second consecutive season, which would mark the first time that's happened in the Sidney Crosby era.
Kyle Dubas and his management group tried to sign pending unrestricted free agent Jake Guentzel to a extension, but ultimately weren't able to and before the trade deadline, shipped him to the Carolina Hurricanes for a massive package that included 20-year-old Finnish prospect Ville Koivunen.
Six days after the trade deadline, the Penguins hosted the San Jose Sharks at PPG Paints Arena and there was a very noticeable drop in attendance prior to the start of the game, as can be seen in the image below.
"The seats at puck drop. Haven't seen much of that over the years." Penguins beat writer Josh Yohe said.

The Penguins and Kyle Dubas will be an interesting team to watch at the NHL Entry Draft and over the course of the summer. Given that the team signed Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang to lengthy contracts, there's a good chance that they'll try to remain competitive rather than blowing things up, which would be good for the organization's pockets when trying to get fans in the seats.
However, the longer they try to remain competitive with such an aging core and little to no star power in their prospect pool, the Penguins could be in for a very long rebuild once Crosby, Malkin and Letang hang up their skates.
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LATEST | Image of near-empty arena cause for concern for Eastern Conference team

Should the Penguins blow things up and rebuild this summer?

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No, try to remain competitive12213.9 %
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