So, here we go. Not only will a panel of pooled experts and Penguins luminaries get a say, but so too will Pittsburgh Penguins fans. Which six players and coach will fill the coming PHN list of all-time Penguins?
The battle among defensemen should be interesting, and so too should the goalie battle.
All choices are listed in alphabetical order.
At center, we understand your agony. Imagine a list on which Sidney Crosby is not an organization’s all-time best. Pittsburgh Penguins fans have been truly blessed. All four centers on the Penguins all-time list are or will be in the Hall of Fame.
Also, there are several honorable mentions. Defensemen Ulf Samuelsson and Brooks Orpik deserve notice. It was an especially tough call to leave Jean Pronovost and Rick Kehoe off the list. Kehoe was the Penguins all-time leading scorer until some guy named Lemieux arrived. Pronovost was the first Penguins player to score 100 points and 50 goals.
They appeared on the original list but two factors swayed us. Neither Pronovost or Keho are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Based purely on their Penguins careers, Pronovost and Kehoe would surpass Mark Recchi and Joe Mullen, but beyond-Penguins careers were too great to ignore, as well as the 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cups.
Cups mean a lot. So do Hall of Fame rings.
Coach Dan Bylsma is the Penguins all-leader in wins and won a Stanley Cup. His numbers dwarf others up for consideration. We left him off the list because, cmon, look at the transformational figures below.
The rules: There are no rules. A player’s or coach’s Penguins career is the primary factor, but it’s hard to ignore the person’s complete body of work beyond Pittsburgh. Sure, Scotty Bowman only coached the Penguins for two seasons and admittedly, he kept the status quo after Bob Johnson. So, his Penguins career was not distinguished, but he’s still considered one of the greatest coaches and hockey minds ever.
Use your head, your heart, or flip a coin. We will unveil the Pittsburgh Penguins All-Time team Wednesday, April 29, at 12 p.m. The results of fan voting will be announced as part of the story. Fan voting ends at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, one hour before the big reveal.
Pittsburgh Penguins All-Time Team Voting:
Pittsburgh Penguins All-Time Center
- Sidney Crosby (13%, 99 Votes)
- Ron Francis (1%, 8 Votes)
- Mario Lemieux (85%, 658 Votes)
- Evgeni Malkin (2%, 12 Votes)
Total Voters: 777
Penguins All-Time LW
- Martin Straka (5%, 42 Votes)
- Kevin Stevens (69%, 547 Votes)
- Jake Guentzel (14%, 110 Votes)
- Chris Kunitz (12%, 97 Votes)
Total Voters: 796
Penguins All-Time RW
- Rick Tocchet (3%, 20 Votes)
- Mark Recchi (5%, 38 Votes)
- Joe Mullen (2%, 12 Votes)
- Jaromir Jagr (90%, 659 Votes)
Total Voters: 729
Penguins All-Time Defensemen (Select 2)
- Sergei Gonchar (11%, 131 Votes)
- Paul Coffey (43%, 518 Votes)
- Larry Murphy (18%, 217 Votes)
- Kris Letang (28%, 329 Votes)
Total Voters: 706
Penguins All-Time Goalie
- Tom Barrasso (18%, 129 Votes)
- Matt Murray (1%, 8 Votes)
- Marc-Andre Fleury (79%, 551 Votes)
- Denis Herron (1%, 10 Votes)
Total Voters: 698
Penguins All-Time Coach
- Scotty Bowman (14%, 94 Votes)
- Mike Sullivan (45%, 298 Votes)
- Herb Brooks (4%, 29 Votes)
- Bob Johnson (37%, 247 Votes)
Total Voters: 668
Penguins All-Time GM
- Ray Shero (6%, 39 Votes)
- Jim Rutherford (33%, 221 Votes)
- Eddie Johnston (8%, 56 Votes)
- Craig Patrick (52%, 345 Votes)
Total Voters: 661