One night sitting on a bar stool with me you will find out I have a deep knowledge of obscure former Pittsburgh Penguins. So one day I was strolling on the internet and found a list of players you forgot played for a team. This got me thinking about star NHL Players who played in Pittsburgh that you probably forgot were ever Penguins. So here are my top 10 Players you forgot were Pittsburgh Penguins.
10) Tim Horton
The fast food franchise namesake once adorned the Black and Gold. Well at that point it was blue and white. Old Timbo was best known for wearing the blue and white of the Toronto Maple Leafs not the Penguins. Playing for Toronto from 1949 – 1970 before being dealt to the Rangers. He was signed by the Penguins in 1971, playing just forty four games for the franchise. Scoring two goals with nine assists. Two years later the legend would retire.
9) Paul Bissonnette
The live action version of the Arizona Coyotes mascot. He is best known for being the smart ass twitter grinder for the Yotes. Well little known fact Biz Nasty started in the Penguins organization. In fact for exactly six seconds Biz played on a line with Sidney Crosby and Evgenine Malkin. That’s right he played alongside the two greatest players of this era. So next time you see Biz running around low blowing Bailey in a fringe jacket and coon skin hat you can think, man thank god we let him go to free agency.
8) Tomas Vokoun
The original Nashville Predators star netminder. The right handed goalie was a stud for the expansion franchise in its earliest phases of winning. When he was brought to Pittsburhg it was to replace veteran goalie Brent Johnson as the steady reliable backup. Which he performed masterfully, at one point actually taking over starting duties from Fleury helping carry the Pens to the conference finals in 2013. In spite of all that Pittsburgh is not really the first team you associate the crab claw with.
7) Antti Niemi
The San Jose Sharks always had stars, but never in between the pipes. Seemingly grabbing future Hall of Famers at the end of their careers in hopes to squeeze a good season out of them. So when they got Antti Niemi he became in instant star for the franchise. When Niemi came to Pittsburgh in the twilight of his career the Penguins attempted to do the same thing to the Sharks franchise goalie. He famously could not stop the puck to save his life, but for Penguins fans the mention of his name still feels weird.
6) Brenden Morrow, Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, and Douglas Murray
The story of the 2012-13 Pittsburgh Penguins is one that Penguins fans have tried to bleach from their memory for years. A team that had all the tools to win a cup. The team that could have lead the Penguins to their second cup four years. Stacked with their normal stars of Crosby, Malkin, Letang, and Fleury. At the deadline Ray Shero would add a litany of veteran proven weapons to push the team to the next level. This was all famously mismanaged by Dan Bylsma forcing his ideals on the team instead of allowing the sure overwhelming amount of talent do what they do best. Score more goals than anyone one team since the 1996 Red Wings. The Penguins would be swept by the Boston Bruins in the conference finals that year. Depriving the hockey world from the Cup matchup they so desperately craved between Pittsburgh and Chicago.
5) Ziggy Palffy
The talented Czech winger was brought to Pittsburhg in 2005 to play wing with Sidney Crosby. He played one season tallying eleven goals and thirty one assists. He would abruptly retire midseason citing a shoulder injury as his reason. He would go on to play for the Czech Republic in international competitions after. Weird story…
4) John LeClair
In the twilight of the big man’s career he jumped ship from his traditional orange and black for black and gold. A struggling team in the middle of a re-build the Penguins were looking for veteran leadership to help guide their talented youthful core. Who better to fill that role than the centerman from the Legion of Doom. He would play two seasons in the Burgh tallying twenty four goals and thirty four assists.
3) Markus Naslund
In 1991 the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Markus Effing Naslund with the sixteenth overall pick. He would go on to a Hall of Fame career playing with the Vancouver Canucks until 2009. For some reason in 1994 Craig Patrick thought, nah I have enough great forwards so he was traded for Alek Stojanov… Who the eff is Alek Stojanov? Anyone? Please someone fill me in! Craig Patrick please tell me who booked this shit!
2) Luc Robitaille
The savior of the LA Kings played forty six games in Pittsburgh in the 94-95 season. Tallying twenty three goals and nineteen assists. The dynamic left winger would move to division rivals New York Rangers the following season. The Penguins at the time weren’t short on talent boasting, Lemieux, Jagr, Francis, and Nedved all on the roster. Making LA’s franchise player dispensable. Could you imagine of Craig would have held onto Naslund and Robitaille. Probably would have had three cups in the Lemieux Era… Just saying Craig you did some great stuff but these two are head scratchers.
1) Sergei Zubov
This one still hurts. The now Hall of Famer came to Pittsburgh on the heels of a Cup win with the New York Rangers. The elite puck moving defenseman played one season in the Burgh. Tallying eleven goals and fifty five assists. Twenty nine of those fifty five assists came on the Power Play by sliding silky one timers to number sixty six no doubt. The Penguins for some reason didn’t see a need to keep him and dealt him to Dallas. Where he would go on two win another Cup. So just to recap, Craig had Naslund, Robitaille, and Zubov all on the same team with Lemieux, Jagr, Francis, and Nedved. Is the 94-95 Season a bigger bust than the 2012-13 season? Honestly I am not sure.
So that is the list. Tell us what you think in the comments on our Facebook page. And someone please get Craig Partick and Ray Shero a stiff drink. Those men should have one more cup ring than they do.