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.


Dan Quinn was traded from the Calgary Flames for Mike Bullard early in the 1986-87 season, and the Center would go on to have some of his best individual success in pro hockey.  He would score 71 of his 80 Points that year as a Penguin, and followed that with…
A native of Massachusetts, Ryan Whitney, played for Boston University and would be drafted in 2002 by the Penguins 5th Overall in 2002.  The Defenseman would turn pro two years later, and after playing in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (Pittsburgh’s AHL farm team), he debuted in 2005-06.
John Cullen would play college hockey at Boston University, and while he was one of their best players, he went undrafted in the NHL.  Cullen left Boson University as the then all-time leading scorer, and he would try out for the Buffalo Sabres, who chose him in a Supplemental Draft. …
As a player, Rick Tocchet is most closely associated with the other Pennsylvania hockey team, the Philadelphia Flyers, and he should be considering he spent four times longer there than he did with the Penguins.
Petr Nedved arrived in Pittsburgh with a lot of baggage.  The former second overall pick was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks, whose fans appreciated his skill, but not his soft play.  A contract dispute would see him dealt to St. Louis, where he played for part of a season, and…
Jan Hrdina was chosen in the 5th Round in 1995 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, and after playing in Junior for another year and the minors for two, he was ready to debut in the NHL in 1998.
With their second pick of the 1984 NHL draft (which was ninth overall), the Pittsburgh Penguins selected Doug Bodger, a Defenseman from British Columbia.  You probably know the guy they took with their first pick, Mario Lemieux.
Doug Shedden played the first half of his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where the 5th Round Pick would exceed expectations.
Ken Schinkel finished third in Calder Trophy voting when he was with the New York Rangers in 1959-60, but despite that early success, he bounced back and forth from the minors to the parent club until the NHL expanded in 1967.  He was plucked by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who chose…
Ulf Samuelsson came to Pittsburgh as part of an enormous gamble by the Penguins.  The Defenseman was part of a trade that brought him and Ron Francis for John Cullen and Zarley Zalapski late in the 1990-91 season.  The Penguins were going for their first Stanley Cup, and the deal…