There's been a lot of talk lately about dirty play and the NHL and all of that, and some fans (mainly from opposing teams) talk about how the Pens are a dirty team and all that. Well, are the Pens an unusually dirty team? Let's see where they stand when it comes to suspensions.
As a source of my data I'm using http://nhlsuspensions.com. It appears they are correct and it has good data for 2009 until last season. Unfortunately it does not have this season on it (or at least hasn't been updated in a couple months), so I'm going to just go on previous seasons. Granted I realize this removes a suspension for the Pens, but it removes quite a few suspensions as well, so I think it's fair. The data will go from the 2009-2010 season until last season.
Since 2009, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been suspended 11 times, which puts them tied for 2nd in the most suspensions in the NHL, behind the Flyers (12) and tied with Phoenix. The Canucks and Ducks are tied for 4th at 8, and the Capitals and Blackhawks are tied for 6th at 7.
For number of games you have the Coyotes at 1st with 44 games, Flyers and Pens tied for 2nd at 37 and the Ducks at 4th with 32 games.
So where have these games come from? Well obviously we all know where the lion's share for the Pens came from... Matt Cooke. Cooke had 3 suspensions for 16 total games. Eric Godard got 10 games for leaving the bench to protect Brent Johnson in the infamous Islanders game. The other lengthy suspensions were Asham for a cross check against Schenn, Engelland for a hit to the head and Letang for a boarding penalty.
During this time period, the players with the most amount of games suspended are Raffi Torres at 35 games (PHX), James Wisniewski at 24 games (ANA, CBJ, NYI), Trevor Gillies with 19 games (NYI), and Matt Cooke with 16 (PGH).
So obviously the Pens are at the top of the list when it comes to suspensions... For what it's worth, the Godard suspension was well worth it... I mean seriously, if you're going to get suspended, let it be for protecting (as in actually stopping them from getting attacked).
It should be worth noting that the Pens took a stand on Cooke and forced him to change his game, and since then, Cooke has been pretty much a model citizen. Of the list of the Pens, ONLY Cooke has been suspended more than once (well Neal has now, but that's not in the data model).
From just browsing the list, there are quite a few ex and current Pens who have been suspended with other teams. The ones that immediately jump out at me include Jarkko Ruutu while with the Ducks 1 game for a late hit, Colby Armstrong with Atlanta for 2 games for an elbow to the head, TK's favorite Tom Kostopoulos, 6 games for a hit to the head while with Calgary, James Neal 2 games for hit from behind while with Dallas, Georges Laraque 5 games for kneeing with the Habs, PL3, 1 game for instigator in the last 5 minutes while with NJ, and 5 games for boarding while with Calgary, and Harry Z 4 games for charging while with the Flyers
If you want to see the data I used, feel free to check out my google drive link here.