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Pens of the Past - Randy Carlyle

Granted Randy Carlyle had better luck winning a Stanley Cup as a coach than he did as a player, that didn't make him any less intimidating on the blue line.  After 18 seasons in the NHL, his best stats and career accomplishments came while spending time in Pittsburgh.

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Randy Carlyle
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Carlyle was drafted by the Maple Leafs in 1976.  His contribution of 5 assist in 46 games, needless to say, failed to impress.  After one more year with Toronto in 1977, Carlyle posted a dismal 2-goal, 13-assist performance  He really didn't come into his own until he shipped over to the Penguins for the 1978-79 season.

As a Penguin, Carlyle quickly saw his stats on the rise.  While Carlyle never scored more than 16 goals in any season, he was pretty consistent in the assist department.

Carlyle's best season came in 1980-81 with the Pens, when he tallied 16 goals and 67 assists for an 83 point All-Star season.  It would be his only appearance in the All-Star Game, but all part of his Norris Trophy winning season.  Carlyle spent three more seasons with the Pens before shipping off to Winnipeg to play out the remaining 10 years of his career.

Few accolades are listed on Randy Carlyle's resume as a player outside of those few accomplishments, however he was successful in Coaching the Anaheim Ducks to their first Cup run in 2007. 

Plenty of hockey analysts have said that some of the best players make for some of the worst coaches, but Randy Carlyle skates on that thin line between good and average as a player and excellent as a coach.  In only his second year as the Coach of Anaheim (also his second year as an NHL coach) he brought the team to the Cup and has brought the team to the playoffs in all three seasons.  In the year before Anaheim's Championship, the Ducks just missed a Stanley Cup berth, losing to the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference.

Be sure to check in next Monday for another installment of Pens of the Past.