We've already touched upon the possibility of Pascal Dupuis returning to the Penguins next season, so instead of going over the typical season review for Duper, let's take a look ahead and ask ourselves: What does a guy like Pascal Dupuis bring to the Pens?
Last season was a tough one for the entire Penguins organization. Max Talbot and Kris Letang were the only two guys on the entire roster to play a full 82 game season, but Pascal Dupuis and Mike Rupp (also allegedly in talks with the team with regards to coming back next season) were second overall with 81 games apiece. This isn't exactly atypical for Dupuis, who since joining the Pens in 2009 has played 233 regular season games out of a possible 246. In the past two he's played 81, only further showing that the on-ice title of "grinder" also refers to his work ethic as a whole.
No one ever said Dupuis had the scoring touch of Crosby or Malkin, the puck-moving skills of Kris Letang or the hard-hitting style of Brooks Orpik. But that's because Dupuis is in a class of his own. Sure, you'll find a number of guys around the league who fall into that third-line role, but when it comes to securing that role on the Pens Dupuis is second to none. He hustles on every play, battles in the corners, can lay his shoulder into someone if needed and often has a knack for being in front of the net for some garbage goals. It's that prototypical blue-collar style that is so loved in blue-collar town. Tyler Kennedy is of a similar mold, but Dupuis has one up on TK in the experience department.
He won't fight often but when he does you know it has to fire up the team. Last season's 59 penalty minutes was a career-high for Dupuis, who admittedly only dropped the gloves in one game but did so on two separate occasions. That of course would be the game against the Islanders on February 11th when he registered 15 minutes in the box, or roughly 25 percent of his season total. But hey, it had to be done.
"$&#* you Geno." - HBO's 24/7 series.
Pittsburgh's captain may not have the ability to grow out his whiskers but Dupuis has no problem in that department. Granted he also sports a five o'clock shadow at nine o'clock in the morning (or roughly two hours after he shaves), but it'd be really hard for Pens fans to wave good-bye to that work of art in 2011-12.