In an effort to help get fans in Pittsburgh excited about the upcoming season and opening of their new CONSOL Energy Center, the Penguins have announced the Penguins All-Time team. As you might expect, the team is loaded with players from their back-to-back Stanley Cup teams of the early 1990s.
Nine of those 15 players were all members of at least one of the Penguins Stanley Cup teams of the 90s. Success can help fill out memories of the past pretty clearly. While this team is likely to add a few members in about 20 years time, this group as it is pretty amazing to see when you reflect back on those championship teams.
Lemieux, Francis and Jagr all speak for themselves. Kevin Stevens was the power forward hired gun that worked along side Lemieux adding extra muscle down low to allow Lemieux the extra room to maneuver on the ice. What Coffey and Murphy did on defense is incredible considering Coffey was coming over from Edmonton where he’d already won three Cups. Winning one more with Pittsburgh helped cement his legacy. Larry Murphy was part of both Penguins Cup winners, meanwhile Ulf Samuelsson cemented his own legacy as one of the most vicious defensemen in the league.Tom Barrasso was the ornery goaltender who backstopped both of those championship teams and Joe Mullen was the unsung American winger that provided extra goal-scoring punch working alongside Ron Francis.
It’s a solid list and while there’s no doubt that we’ll see the likes of Crosby, Malkin and Gonchar on such a list in years to come, you’ve got to wonder who would coach this team based on the Penguins past. Would it be “Badger” Bob Johnson who coached the 1991 team? How about Scotty Bowman who coached the 1992? Do you give it to Dan Bylsma just because he’s the new guy on the scene? Perhaps just giving it to Rick Kehoe since he made it as a player on this list would be most fun. You don’t see player-coaches anymore so why not do it for a fun list instead.