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Pens of the Past - Ken Wregget

Ken Wregget's seven seasons in Pittsburgh are examples of how a two-goalie system worked long before a two-goalie system was expected to work.  While Wregget was a subject of controversy in Pittsburgh merely for his position as backup to Tom Barrasso, there's no doubt that Ken Wregget is a prime candidate for Pens of the Past.


Ken Wregget with a tribute to The Penguin, long before Batman sounded like he smoked 50 packs a day

career stats

Ken Wregget
575 225 248 53 3.63 .885

If you look at Ken Wregget's career stats, you wouldn't exactly consider him a first-ballot All-Star.  Rightfully so, I suppose - but perhaps it's more about the "what could have been" aspect than anything else.

Allow me to explain.

Before his time with the Penguins, Wregget spent a few years with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers.  In that 12-year span (two spent back in the AHL), Wregget played in 50 or more games only three times.  All three were rather dismal displays between the pipes.

Yet when Wregget came to Pitt for the 91-92 Cup win, it was pretty obvious to him that starting would be a role few and far between. behind the likes of Barrasso.  Not considering his last season in Pitt, Wregget's win percentage was always over the .500 mark.  His best season came during the 94-95 campaign when he posted a 25-9 record.

There's also a little bit of hockey history on Wregget's shoulders.  During the 1996 playoffs, Wregget became the first goaltender to stand on the receiving end of the first ever overtime, postseason penalty shot. 

Click ahead to the 2:15 mark for the result:

Peter Nedved would later seal the win for the Pens in a game that lasted four overtimes; the longest since the 1930s.

95-96 posed at Wregget's last solid season in Pitt.  The 97 and 98 stints fell short of expectations, and in 1998 Wregget was shipped out to the Calgary Flames.  He'd end his NHL career the following season as a member of the Detroit Red Wings. 

But Wregget's hockey career lasted one more year as a member of the Manitoba Moose in the IHL before officially kicking the pads off for good.