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Pittsburgh Penguins - Post Expansion Era


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Most Valuable Retired Penguino's  

12 members have voted

  1. 1. Please choose 5 players or pick your own

    • Mario Lemieux (anyone who doesn't pick him is an idiot)
    • Jean Pronovost
    • Rick Kehoe
    • Paul Coffey
    • Ron "The Franchise" Francis
    • Sheds (anyone other than me who votes for him is an idiot)
    • Tom "All Universe" Barrasso
    • Kevin "Snuffy" Stevens
    • Yinzer own choice


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The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the NHL during the 1967-8 expansion that saw the league double in size. Sporting powder blue jerseys with a fat Penguin wrapped in a scarf as their logo, and playing in the "Igloo" yinz just knew this team couldn’t strike fear even if they played against a team of flamboyant interior decorators. They once managed to go 15 years without a single victory at Philadelphias Spectrum. After more bad seasons than good, and even more horrible than bad, they brought the unsportsmanlike term "tanking" to the NHL when management and ownership decided they would lose out to have the right to pick 1st overall in the draft that held the prized up and coming star, Mario Lemieux. At one point, leading 3-1 in a game the coach was asked by the GM "What are you doing?" They lost 6-3. I guess it was either cheat or fold. The same scenario almost duplicated itself years later when the league handed the most highly touted junior since Mario to the Pens when they were yet again on the verge of bankruptcy. Their fairweather fans are now back in droves again, along with the only 3 loyal fans they ever had, who now grace this board.

Over the decades the Pens have had some great players. We all know about Mario. There was Mario Jr. in Jaromir Jagr. There is the scary good Sidney Crosby, and the hideously good Evgeni Malkin. Of course the last 3 are still playing (well, meaning if there was NHL hockey) so they won’t be part of this fun little survey.

So now I give you the greatest retired Penguinos of alltime….(in no specific order) Post-Crosby Pen fans have likely never heard of any of these guys, along with names like Gretzky, Orr and Tobobondung.

Jean Pronovost – The first "great" Penguin. Bought from the Bruins after winning a Memorial Cup with the Niagara Falls Flyers, Jean was the younger brother of Marcel, already an NHL Allstar defenceman. Watching his hero older brother likely contributed greatly to Jean learning to play a solid two way game. He played ten seasons for the Pens, scoring 52 goals and 104 points in the 75-76 season making him the first Pen to hit the 50 G or 100 PT mark. He scored at least 40 goals four times and is still 3rd alltime on the Pens for goals (316) and games played (753) and 6th in points (603).

Rick Kehoe – Kehoe played junior with the London and Hamilton. One of the many, many, many players over the decades to truly excel once he got the Leaf "stink" off him. Played 11 seasons with the ‘Guins and was basically the "anti-Cooke" rarely getting double digit PIMS in an entire season which led to a Lady Bing award in 1981. Was an allstar in that year and also the following year.

Paul Coffey – Sort of had a hard time putting him here, because I’ll always consider him an Oiler who drafted him 6th overall.. His career speaks for itself, though he spread it over 9 teams. But he was definitely instrumental in helping to turn the Pens from pretenders to contenders. A Soo Greyhound and Kitchener Ranger in junior. After a dispute over, what else – money, he was traded to Pittsburgh from Edmonton. One of the smoothest skating players in the history of the game, his speed and skill were a lethal weapon especially combined with the likes of Gretzky or Lemieux. Racked up more playoff points than any defencemen, 2nd most regular season points, 8 time allstar, 3 time Norris winner blah blah blah. Played 4 ½ seasons with the Pens for a total –52. Was never a minus on any other team.

Ron Francis – One of the best ever two way players, some referred to him over his career as "Couturier-like" ( OK, I made that up). Posted the 2nd most assists alltime behind Gretzky (1249) 4th in career points (1798) and 3rd in games played (1731) Won 2 cups with the Pens. First player to ever win Selke and Lady Byng in same year. Won Lady Byng 3 times. Also won King Clancy trophy for community service showing what an all around class act he was. Drafted 4th overall by Hartford from Soo Greyhounds. Played 8 seasons with the Pittsburgh franchise. Currently part owner of Carolina Hurricanes.

Mario Lemieux – don’t even need to include him because he’s as no-brainer a pick as there can be. One of the most talented players to ever play the game, only his incessant whining and injuries took away from an otherwise brilliant career. Set the league record in Laval with 282 points. Refused to put on Pens jersey when drafted 1st overall. 3 time Cup champ (one as owner) Olympic gold champ, 3 time Hart Trophy recipient, 6 time NHL scoring champ, Calder, 9 time allstar, Won the battle over Hodgkin's Disease. I could go on and on but any hockey fan knows how good this guy truly was. One of the top 3 or 4 players to ever lace up the skates.

Doug Shedden – Was Pens MVP the year before Mario arrived. Another Greyhound, he grew up in Barrie and used to give my buddies brother tickets anytime they came to Toronto so we got to go for free. I’d vote for him just on that. Plus he could drink the entire Pens organization under the table which is very important in these polls.

Tom Barrasso – Helped backstop the Pens in both cups. Great puck handler who had some nice years. Gave himself the nickname All Universe which nobody else ever called him. His Bryzgalian-like stats of .892 and 3.24 are all you need to know about what his career really was. Never played junior.

Kevin Stevens – Awesome power forward who benefitted from riding shotgun on Marios line. Came up through Boston College. Four straight seasons of at least 40 goals and 80 points with the Pens including a 55 goal season and a 123 points in another. One of only 4 players to ever score 50 and 200 PIMS in one season. Decided snow was more important than ice and threw his career and money away on blow and hookers.

Hope you enjoyed reading this…didn’t see any Pens fans volunteering to do it! ; )

No offence intended, just trying to add some humour to the thread.

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Well you missed two major pieces of the franchise in my opinion.

In order I say:

1) Mario

2) Coffey

3) Francis

4) Kasparaitis (actually my 1a)

5) Tibbetts (notable mention)

If they never had players like number 4 and 5, they never would have sucked enough to be awarded Malkin and Crosby by Uncle Gary.

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Thanks to the guys who got a laugh out of this. I never meant to offend anyone, just wanted to put some facts with some longtime Flyer fan sarcasm.

I was working on one of these but honestly the entire 6 hours a day I get off work it's been slow moving. I'm glad somebody did it, though you're lucky I don't have time to revisit the Flyers version right now, or I'd have a little vengeance. Having said that, Lemieux is the hands down winner here. Aside from the Flyers based humor attached to each paragraph, which I can almost picture in cave paintings for neanderthal viewers, well done. ;)

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The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the NHL during the 1967-8 expansion that saw the league double in size. Sporting powder blue jerseys with a fat Penguin wrapped in a scarf as their logo, and playing in the "Igloo" yinz just knew this team couldn’t strike fear even if they played against a team of flamboyant interior decorators. They once managed to go 15 years without a single victory at Philadelphias Spectrum. After more bad seasons than good, and even more horrible than bad, they brought the unsportsmanlike term "tanking" to the NHL when management and ownership decided they would lose out to have the right to pick 1st overall in the draft that held the prized up and coming star, Mario Lemieux. At one point, leading 3-1 in a game the coach was asked by the GM "What are you doing?" They lost 6-3. I guess it was either cheat or fold. The same scenario almost duplicated itself years later when the league handed the most highly touted junior since Mario to the Pens when they were yet again on the verge of bankruptcy. Their fairweather fans are now back in droves again, along with the only 3 loyal fans they ever had, who now grace this board.

Over the decades the Pens have had some great players. We all know about Mario. There was Mario Jr. in Jaromir Jagr. There is the scary good Sidney Crosby, and the hideously good Evgeni Malkin. Of course the last 3 are still playing (well, meaning if there was NHL hockey) so they won’t be part of this fun little survey.

So now I give you the greatest retired Penguinos of alltime….(in no specific order) Post-Crosby Pen fans have likely never heard of any of these guys, along with names like Gretzky, Orr and Tobobondung.

Jean Pronovost – The first "great" Penguin. Bought from the Bruins after winning a Memorial Cup with the Niagara Falls Flyers, Jean was the younger brother of Marcel, already an NHL Allstar defenceman. Watching his hero older brother likely contributed greatly to Jean learning to play a solid two way game. He played ten seasons for the Pens, scoring 52 goals and 104 points in the 75-76 season making him the first Pen to hit the 50 G or 100 PT mark. He scored at least 40 goals four times and is still 3rd alltime on the Pens for goals (316) and games played (753) and 6th in points (603).

Rick Kehoe – Kehoe played junior with the London and Hamilton. One of the many, many, many players over the decades to truly excel once he got the Leaf "stink" off him. Played 11 seasons with the ‘Guins and was basically the "anti-Cooke" rarely getting double digit PIMS in an entire season which led to a Lady Bing award in 1981. Was an allstar in that year and also the following year.

Paul Coffey – Sort of had a hard time putting him here, because I’ll always consider him an Oiler who drafted him 6th overall.. His career speaks for itself, though he spread it over 9 teams. But he was definitely instrumental in helping to turn the Pens from pretenders to contenders. A Soo Greyhound and Kitchener Ranger in junior. After a dispute over, what else – money, he was traded to Pittsburgh from Edmonton. One of the smoothest skating players in the history of the game, his speed and skill were a lethal weapon especially combined with the likes of Gretzky or Lemieux. Racked up more playoff points than any defencemen, 2nd most regular season points, 8 time allstar, 3 time Norris winner blah blah blah. Played 4 ½ seasons with the Pens for a total –52. Was never a minus on any other team.

Ron Francis – One of the best ever two way players, some referred to him over his career as "Couturier-like" ( OK, I made that up). Posted the 2nd most assists alltime behind Gretzky (1249) 4th in career points (1798) and 3rd in games played (1731) Won 2 cups with the Pens. First player to ever win Selke and Lady Byng in same year. Won Lady Byng 3 times. Also won King Clancy trophy for community service showing what an all around class act he was. Drafted 4th overall by Hartford from Soo Greyhounds. Played 8 seasons with the Pittsburgh franchise. Currently part owner of Carolina Hurricanes.

Mario Lemieux – don’t even need to include him because he’s as no-brainer a pick as there can be. One of the most talented players to ever play the game, only his incessant whining and injuries took away from an otherwise brilliant career. Set the league record in Laval with 282 points. Refused to put on Pens jersey when drafted 1st overall. 3 time Cup champ (one as owner) Olympic gold champ, 3 time Hart Trophy recipient, 6 time NHL scoring champ, Calder, 9 time allstar, Won the battle over Hodgkin's Disease. I could go on and on but any hockey fan knows how good this guy truly was. One of the top 3 or 4 players to ever lace up the skates.

Doug Shedden – Was Pens MVP the year before Mario arrived. Another Greyhound, he grew up in Barrie and used to give my buddies brother tickets anytime they came to Toronto so we got to go for free. I’d vote for him just on that. Plus he could drink the entire Pens organization under the table which is very important in these polls.

Tom Barrasso – Helped backstop the Pens in both cups. Great puck handler who had some nice years. Gave himself the nickname All Universe which nobody else ever called him. His Bryzgalian-like stats of .892 and 3.24 are all you need to know about what his career really was. Never played junior.

Kevin Stevens – Awesome power forward who benefitted from riding shotgun on Marios line. Came up through Boston College. Four straight seasons of at least 40 goals and 80 points with the Pens including a 55 goal season and a 123 points in another. One of only 4 players to ever score 50 and 200 PIMS in one season. Decided snow was more important than ice and threw his career and money away on blow and hookers.

Hope you enjoyed reading this…didn’t see any Pens fans volunteering to do it! ; )

No offence intended, just trying to add some humour to the thread.

No Jagr?? Really?? You could put up to 15 players and Jagr should certainly be on the list.

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o Jagr?? Really?? You could put up to 15 players and Jagr should certainly be on the list.

I'm working on my Flyers piece and by the looks of it you're not gonna like it: it only has two names - Bobby Clarke and Shjon Podein. Do you think I should add a few names?

:ph34r:

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@Vanflyer

. There was Mario Jr. in Jaromir Jagr. There is the scary good Sidney Crosby, and the hideously good Evgeni Malkin. Of course the last 3 are still playing (well, meaning if there was NHL hockey) so they won’t be part of this fun little survey.

Jagr hasn't retired.

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@Vanflyer

Jagr hasn't retired.

Now that my simpson moment has passed (momentarily), which team does Recchi belong on? Flyers or Pens?? I would probably say Flyers, but could argue Pens readily. Just trying to backpedal my Simpson moment. Are you buying it??

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Where the frack is JAGR on this list? :o Larry Murphy?! Rick Tocchet? WTF?! You Flyer fans are hurting Puck's head!! :D

Definitely have not EVER been a fan of the Penguins... BUt I grew up playing NHL 94 on the Sega Genesis and god damn, that team was good!

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Where the frack is JAGR on this list? :o Larry Murphy?! Rick Tocchet? WTF?! You Flyer fans are hurting Puck's head!! :D

Definitely have not EVER been a fan of the Penguins... BUt I grew up playing NHL 94 on the Sega Genesis and god damn, that team was good!

I already had my Simpson moment re: Jagr. He is not retired (this is a Most Valuable Retired Players contest). I do agree with Murphy being on the list. Tocchets tenure there was way too short and he had only one prolific year out of the three he played there. I did ask about Recchi though (should he be on the Flyers or Pens or can he be on both?)?

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