Last year the Penguins used 24 spots on their space on the Stanley Cup for the players who helped to win the championship. After accomplishing another title this year, they will get more room to write their legacy.
So, who's on it this year? The following are guarantees:
Appearance in Stanley Cup Final Game (21): Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Phil Kessel, Ian Cole, Scott Wilson, Justin Schultz, Matt Cullen, Brian Dumoulin, Patric Hornqvist, Carl Hagelin, Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust, Trevor Daley, Olli Maatta, Nick Bonino, Matt Murray, Jake Guentzel, Carter Rowney, Ron Hainsey, Josh Archibald
41+ regular season games (2): Kris Letang (41), Tom Kuhnhackl (57)
There's also Marc-Andre Fleury (38 reg season games) but he'll definitely be on the Cup, don't even worry. The rules don't specifically cut any breaks for a goalie but given that Fleury was on the team all season long and played such a huge role, he will be on the Cup.
And how about Archibald who only appeared in 10 regular season games and 4 playoff games, but the 4th and final one was an SCF game so he is golden. Timing is everything in life.
Ok, so that's 24 players who are going on automatically, which matches the number used last year. That's probably not a good sign for the bubble players that the Penguins would have to petition (no guarantee of approval either). The best cases are as follows:
Mark Streit - played 19 regular season games for the Pens then got in 3 games in the playoffs, all in the Eastern Conference finals. Had 0 goals but 2 assists which might help his case. Plus as a 39-year old veteran it sure would be nice for him to get on the Cup as his career winds down.
Chad Ruhwedel - 34 regular season games + 6 playoff games. This one makes you feel really bad, Ruhwedel came so close to being automatic but fell short and after getting concussed in Game 5 of the ECF, he never got a chance to draw back in the lineup since other defensemen (Schultz, Daley) got healthy while he was injured. Space on the Cup is limited but with Ruhwedel playing 40 total games this season you would think maybe the Pens bump a staffer and use an extra spot to get him on here.
That's really it for realistic chances of making the Cup - the next highest total for games played is Tom Sestito (13 reg season games) and he had nothing to do with the playoff run. Ditto Derrick Pouliot (11 reg + 0 playoff), Oskar Sundqvist (10 + 0). Those guys all didn't make the cut in 2016 and have even less of a case for 2017.
Also, Pascal Dupuis was under contract this season (on long-term injured-reserve) but I don't even believe was at the celebration last night in Nashville, nor has he been around the team too much this season as he's dealt with the difficult first season away from being able to be a player. Since he had so little to do with this group, I doubt he would be engraved on the Cup this year, even though he technically could be eligible for it if the team applied. Realistically though, not looking like that will end up working.
Also remember that players who are traded within the course of the season (Eric Fehr and Steve Oleksey this year) are ineligible to have their names etched since they didn't end the season in the organization.
However, all the players still with the team will get a day with the Cup and the organization will reward them with rings, parties and memories, so it's not as if they're totally shut out in the cold. For the special ones who were major parts of the franchise's 5th title, they will be immortalized in the silver trophy later on this fall.