The 2022-23 Pittsburgh Penguins are almost certainly going to look very, very different when the puck drops to open the season. Change is inevitable in the NHL (and any salary cap sport, for that matter) and the Penguins are looking at the potential for a lot of it this offseason.

Not only because they are coming off of a fourth consecutive First Round exit (something that will always bring its own set of changes), but also because they have some significant unrestricted free agents to deal with. Significant might not even do it justice. These are franchise players, a significant part of a championship core that helped form the best era of hockey in the team has ever seen.

Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and Bryan rust are the headlining numbers, but Evan Rodrigues and Rickard Rakell also have expiring deals, while decisions need to be made on Kasperi Kapanen and Danton Heinen as restricted free agents.

Not all of them will return.

There is a possibility that only a couple of them return.

There is also the chance that none of them return.

If I were a betting man I would guess that Malkin might be the most likely of the top-three free agents to return. His relationship with Crosby being a potential factor, as well as the fact he might (emphasis on might) be the one to take a lesser contract. Rust strikes me as the least likely because this is his one chance to cash in with a major contract, and he is going to get it. And he should absolutely go for it (and the Penguins should not be the ones to pay it).

Then there is Letang.