Penguins' defense could create changes


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If general manager Ray Shero's plan works out, the Penguins will enter the 2010-11 season with one of the top defense corps in the NHL.

Getting the likes of Sergei Gonchar and Dan Hamhuis under contract won't leave much salary-cap space to upgrade their first- and second-line wingers, however.

And that could lead to a position change for one of the Penguins' centers, with Evgeni Malkin or Jordan Staal a candidate to be moved from the middle to the wing.

Shero said Monday that team officials "have talked about that quite a bit," and that "it's still a possibility moving forward, for sure."

Although both players have expressed a preference for playing center -- and people associated with the team have consistently spoken of the desire to keep them there -- Shero suggested they won't necessarily protest if such a move is deemed necessary.

"Good players like to play with good players," he said. "We'll look at all that stuff."


Dave Molinari: dmolinari@post-gazette.com .


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