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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pittsburgh Penguins All Iron Man Team

I recently started a project where I am accumulating autograph cards of the Pittsburgh Penguins.  I didn't really just start the project as I have been collecting Penguin cards for quite sometime.  But I did just recently decide to start sharing that collection along with player info and sometimes some memories of those guys with the blogosphere.  If you want to check that out, there is a link over on the side somewhere or you can find a link in the blogroll over there too.

At any rate, I found out from the great Hockey Database that there have been 613 different players that have suited up for the Pens in their relatively short existence (600 when I started listing my autos on the other blog).  So I got to thinking, I wonder who played the most games/least games for the Pens and how many cards do they have, if any?  That led me to also wonder, if I built a team of players that played the most games for the Pens, what would that roster look like?

My Criteria:

  • Its a 22-man roster just like the current Pens team.  
  • There has to be 12 forwards, 8 d-men, and 2 goaltenders.
  • The only other requirement is that they played the most games in their position.

I give you what I call, the All-Iron-Man Pittsburgh Penguins team....

FORWARDS - (the first two should come as no surprise)

  1. Mario Lemieux      915 Games Played
  2. Jaromir Jagr          806 Games Played
  3. Jean Pronovost      753 Games Played
  4. Rick Kehoe           722 Games Played
  5. Ron Shock            619 Games Played
  6. Bob Errey             572 Games Played
  7. Martin Straka        560 Games Played
  8. Ron Francis           533 Games Played
  9. Troy Loney           532 Games Played
  10. Kevin Stevens        522 Games Played
  11. Greg Malone          495 Games Played
  12. Syl Apps, Jr.           495 Games Played

Not many surprises here.  The fact that there is no Crosby, Malkin, or Staal is kind of interesting.  Although, if I waited until this time next year to run this list, it might be different.  But based on my criteria, it's not the best of the best, its the most games played.  There is quite a large range from #1 to #12 (almost double) but you can see that almost 500 games for the same franchise (or almost 6 years based on an 82 game season) is a rarity.  Some other interesting (or maybe not) facts about these dozen guys...

  • Lemieux and Jagr are numbers 7 and 8 respectively on the all time scoring list for the NHL.  
  • Bob Errey is the current color commentator for the Penguins TV broadcasts on Root Sports along with Paul Steigerwald.  
  • Greg Malone is the father of another one-time Penguin, Ryan Malone.
  • Straka and Stevens split their games between two different tours of duty with the Pens.

DEFENSEMEN - (again, the first two should come as no surprise)

  1. Ron Stackhouse     621 Games Played
  2. Brooks Orpik        606 Games Played
  3. Dave Burrows        573 Games Played
  4. Rod Buskas           431 Games Played
  5. Darius Kasparaitis  405 Games Played
  6. Randy Carlyle        397 Games Played
  7. Jim Johnson           390 Games Played
  8. Kris Letang            370 Games Played

I was kind of surprised that Jim Johnson was on this list because he didn't strike me as being on the Pens for very long.  But the others, I wasn't as shocked by.  The first two were obvious to me.  I didn't think Kasparaitis would have been that high on the list but, what do I know?  And Letang, he just beat out Russ Anderson this season to make the list.  It is interesting that we have two current players on this list.  That goes to show that d-men are a commodity in the NHL and there is no doubt that good ones are put on the roster for a long time.

GOALTENDERS - (same as above, no surprises)

  1. Tom Barrasso            460 Games Played
  2. Marc-Andre Fleury    450 Games Played

These two guys alone account for over 25% of all the games played by the organization since it was founded in 1967-68.  That is impressive.  Dennis Herron and Ken Wregget would be the next two on the list but they are far behind by almost 170+.  Barrasso is also the 2nd leading American born wins leader all-time right behind John Vanbiesbrouck.  Ryan Miller could beat that record as American born but he has a long way to go.  Fleury could beat that record if he hangs on for a few more years.

As you can see, I was bored with cardboard for the moment so I figured I would try something different.  Not too shabby of a team there either.  I think there could be some hardware in site for a team like that.  I'll have to check my kids NHL 2000-whatever games to see if this team can be made and simulate a season.

Stay tuned for our regularly scheduled programming.


  1. Cool post idea! I love the inclusion of Syl Apps Jr. He had some pretty awesome years including a near miss with 100 points.

    1. I thought so too. And even if I didn't have to only look at most games played, I would have still included Syl Apps. He was an integral part of the team in it's early days.

  2. I've got Tangradi and Nick Johnson rookie autos heading your way soon IF i ever make it to a post office again.

    stooopid snow.

    1. We got hit here too but I'm sure not as bad. Its all already starting to melt.

      Cool. I'm always down for some Pens autos. I have a small pile of Habs and a few other things accumulating for you as well.


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