Top 50 Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins were part of the first wave of NHL expansion in 1967, and while they are now considered one of the premier franchises in hockey, this was not always the case. 

For the first twenty years, they enjoyed little success both on the ice and in the box office.  They were on the brink of relocation until they drafted Mario Lemieux, who would become one of the most exciting players in hockey history.  Along with Jaromir Jagr, the Penguins would become one of the most talented teams in the game, and they would win the Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992.

Lemieux would save the team again, this time from bankruptcy, and he would become the owner (and player) for the Penguins.  With Sidney Crosby arriving, the franchise won the Stanley Cup in 2009, 2016, and 2017.

With five Stanley Cups, the Penguins have won more titles than any other expansion team.


This list is up to the end of the 2020/21 season.

Note: Hockey lists are based on an amalgamation of tenure, traditional statistics, advanced statistics, playoff statistics, and post-season accolades.


Dave Burrows debuted in the NHL in 1971 with Pittsburgh after he was claimed from the Chicago Blackhawks in the Intra-League Draft.  Burrows was a defensive cornerstone for the Penguins in the '70s focusing on his end of the ice.  Twice named an All-Star with Pittsburgh (1974 & 1976), Burrows…
Martin Straka came to Pittsburgh as a 1992 1st Round Pick from Czechoslovakia, and he debuted that year, appearing in 42 Games for the team.  Straka would have a strong sophomore season where he had 64 Points in 1993-94, but the young forward was traded for a pair of gritty…
Despite the fact that he was a proven scorer with the Maple Leafs, he was not a fan-favorite in Toronto, and as the Leafs were looking to rebuild anyway, Kessel was shopped around in the summer of 2015.  They found a taker in Pittsburgh, and it turned out to be…
Lowell MacDonald was claimed by the Los Angeles Kings in the Intra-League Draft, and realistically, there was no reason to believe that when the Penguins chose him that he would be a productive player in the NHL.  That being said, his was the strange expansion world of the 1970s, and…
Rob Brown began his NHL career with Pittsburgh when the 4th Rounder debuted for the big club the year after.  Brown had a good rookie year scoring 44 Points, but he was on a line the season after with Mario Lemieux, and he took advantage of the golden opportunity.
After playing 10 seasons combined with the St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames, Joe Mullen would bring to Pittsburgh a resume as a previous Stanley Cup ring (Calgary in 1989) and was a two-time Lady Byng Trophy winner.  You could argue that Mullen was stolen, as Calgary gave up a…
A veteran of seven seasons at the time of his mid-season trade in 2007-08, Pascal Dupuis would play the second half of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  It would also be the better half.
James Neal was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins close to the 2011 trade deadline, and it was the year after where he would put forth his best year in professional hockey.
You don’t think of Omaha, Nebraska as a hockey hotbed, but it was in Cornhusker territory where Jake Guentzel came from.   The Nebraskan stayed in state, competing collegiately for the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and while this was not a hockey powerhouse, Guentzel impressed in college, bringing the school to their…
From Sweden, Patric Hornqvist played seven years with the Pittsburgh Penguins, his second NHL team after being a Nashville Predator for six years.
A member of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first six seasons of his NHL career, Jordan Staal wasted no time as the second overall pick of the 2006 NHL Draft to become one of the better defensive forwards in the NHL. 
The most important goal that Ron Schock would have would be in a St. Louis Blues uniform when he lit the lamp in double overtime in Game 7 of the 1968 Conference Finals.  That put the Blues into the Stanley Cup Finals in the first year of the club's existence. …
Mike Bullard was the ninth overall pick in the 1980 Draft Pick, and he would debut that year for Pittsburgh, and he appeared in 15 Games.  He was a full-time Center for the Pens the season after and proved to be a solid performer with a 63 Point Season.
From the United States, Brooks Orpik played three years at Boston College, where he helped his institution with the 2001 NCAA Championship.  The year before, he was drafted 18th overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom he would join after winning that coveted amateur accolade.
In the last half of the 1970s, one of the most exciting young players was Pierre Larouche, who set many records as the youngest to achieve specific benchmarks.  He was the youngest to score 100 Goals, 200 Points, and 300 Points (though Wayne Gretzky would break this), but nevertheless, he…
Considered to be one of the more cerebral Defenseman in the game, Finland’s Olli Maatta, was a First Round Pick (22nd Overall) by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012. 
Greg Malone came to the Pittsburgh Penguins as a 1976 Second Round Pick, who would have a good rookie campaign with a 37 Point output.  He would have a 61 Point year after and had 65 Points the season after that.  That would be a personal best, as was his…
Usually, Goalies are not unsung heroes in Stanley Cup wins, but a case could be made that Matt Murray falls into this category. Murray toiled in the minors for two years before he was called up late in the 2015-16 Season, and he logged almost all of the minutes in…
Robert Lang played four seasons with the Los Angeles Kings, and he would sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins as a Free Agent before the 1997-98 season.
Best known for his time with the Washington Capitals, where he would thrice finish in the top ten in Norris Trophy voting.  After his successful run in Washington, he would spend two seasons in Dallas before being traded for Sergei Zubov after the 1995-96 season.