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?
- 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)
- Mario Lemieux 915 Games Played
- Jaromir Jagr 806 Games Played
- Jean Pronovost 753 Games Played
- Rick Kehoe 722 Games Played
- Ron Shock 619 Games Played
- Bob Errey 572 Games Played
- Martin Straka 560 Games Played
- Ron Francis 533 Games Played
- Troy Loney 532 Games Played
- Kevin Stevens 522 Games Played
- Greg Malone 495 Games Played
- 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)
- Ron Stackhouse 621 Games Played
- Brooks Orpik 606 Games Played
- Dave Burrows 573 Games Played
- Rod Buskas 431 Games Played
- Darius Kasparaitis 405 Games Played
- Randy Carlyle 397 Games Played
- Jim Johnson 390 Games Played
- 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)
- Tom Barrasso 460 Games Played
- 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.