When Sergei Gonchar left for the Ottawa Senators in July, he took more than just a hard slapshot from the point with him. Gonchar had been an alternate captain with the Penguins for several years, a locker room leader and a mentor to many players. With Gonchar now playing in Canada's capital, who will take over those responsibilities?
The most likely candidate is Brooks Orpik. He's worn the A while Gonchar missed time with an injury and he's the longest tenured member of the team, having played his first days in black and gold with the terrible 2002-2003 Penguins.
He is obviously a completely different player than Gonchar, but provides the same sort of stabilizing presence and leadership that Sarge did. Kris Letang (who will be expected to pick up a lot of the offense lost by Gonchar) is a longshot candidate to wear an A, but Orpik seems like the most likely possibility.
Up front, it only makes sense to have Malkin retain his A.
Just about six weeks until the Pens' first preseason game...