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All-Time “HE Played for the Penguins?” Team

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There’s been many legends that have made a name for themselves in Pittsburgh. And then there were some just passing through.

Stanley Cup Finals - Pittsburgh Penguins v Detroit Red Wings - Game Seven Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Buffalo Sabres blog, Die By The Blade, did a fun story a few days ago making a lineup consisting of players that played in Buffalo throughout their franchise’s existence that most people forgot even happened. Their list was littered with former Pens players, including none-other than Bob Errey - as their 1LW to boot. Here’s an excerpt about their parameters in how they compiled their lineup:

One of the fun quarantine-era bits going around sports Twitter nowadays is compiling a roster of players for a team who people are apt to forget ever suited up for that team. With that in mind, I thought it’d be fun to take a crack at this for the Buffalo Sabres.

I set out to put together my team, with the following parameters: I’d pick enough players to compile a standard team - four forward lines, three defense pairings and two goaltenders. Players appeared in 10 or fewer regular-season games with the Buffalo Sabres, which means many may not remember or even know that they ever skated in the blue and gold (or in some cases, the black and red).

Overall, 67 skaters and 18 goaltenders meet the criteria. Without further ado, here’s my all-time “Wait, HE played for the Sabres?” team.

With the same criteria with the Penguins, the list came up with 98 skaters and 21 goalies. Let’s see what the Pens could do:

Forwards

Patrick Marleau - Doug Smith - Rich Sutter

Brett Sterling - Jason Williams - Petr Klima

Zach Boychuk - Alain Lemieux - Colin McDonald

Reid Simpson - Cal O’Reilly - Josh Jooris

Defense

Cory Cross - Frantisek Kucera

Joel Bouchard - Dylan Reese

Phillip Samuelsson - Taylor Chorney

Goalies

Ron Tugnutt

Mathieu Garon

Why Him?

  • Patrick Marleau: 1,723 games, 562 G, 626 A, 1188 PTS; 8 games with Pittsburgh, 1 G, 1 A, 2 PTS
    Traded to Pittsburgh on 2/24/20 by San Jose for Pittsburgh (conditional) 3rd round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
  • Doug Smith: 535 games, 115 G, 138 A, 253 PTS; 10 games with Pittsburgh in 1989-90, 1 G, 1 A, 2 PTS
    Traded to Pittsburgh on 2/26/90 by Vancouver for cash.
  • Rich Sutter: 874 games, 149 G, 166 A, 315 PTS; 4 games with Pittsburgh from 1982-84, 0 PTS. One of the many legendary Sutters. Brother of Brian, Brent, Darryl, Duane and Ron Sutter. Uncle of Brandon, Brett, Brody and Riley Sutter. Father of Lukas Sutter
    Drafted by Pittsburgh in the 1st round in 1982, 10th overall. Traded to Philadelphia on 10/23/83 with Andy Brickley, Mark Taylor and Ron Flockhart for Philadelphia’s 1st (Roger Belanger and 3rd (Traded to Vancouver) round picks in the 1984 NHL Draft.
  • Brett Sterling: 30 games, 5 G, 4 A, 9 PTS; 7 games with Pittsburgh, 3 G, 2 A, 5 PTS. Tied with Ron Snell and Nick Johnson for most points with five. Tied with Snell for goals with three each in seven games.
    Signed as free agent with Pittsburgh on 7/3/10. Signed as free agent with St. Louis on 7/4/11.
  • Jason Williams: 455 games, 94 G, 133 A, 227 PTS; 8 games with Pittsburgh in 2011-12, 1 G, 1 A, 2 PTS. Won Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2002.
    Signed as free agent with Pittsburgh on 7/26/11.
  • Petr Klima: 786 games, 313 G, 260 A, 573 PTS; 9 games with Pittsburgh in 1996-97, 1 G, 3 A, 4 PTS. Won Stanley Cup in 1990 with Edmonton.
    Traded to Pittsburgh from Los Angeles on 10/25/96 for conditional draft choice. Conditions were not met and the pick was forfeited. Signed as free agent with Edmonton on 2/26/97.
  • Zach Boychuk: 127 games, 12 G, 18 A, 30 PTS; 7 games with Pittsburgh, 0 PTS
    Claimed on waivers from Carolina on 1/29/13. Claimed on waivers by Nashville on 3/5/13.
  • Alain Lemieux: 119 games, 28 G, 44 A, 72 PTS; 1 game with Pittsburgh in 1986-87, 0 PTS. Brother of Penguins legendary player and owner, Mario Lemieux.
    Signed as free agent in December, 1986.
  • Colin McDonald: 148 games, 20 G, 26 A, 46 PTS; 5 games with Pittsburgh in 2011-12, 0 PTS
    Signed as free agent on 7/1/11. Signed as free agent with NYI on 7/2/12.
  • Reid Simpson: 301 games, 18 G, 18 A, 36 PTS, 838 PIM; 2 games with Pittsburgh in 2003-04, 0 PTS, 17 PIM
    Signed as free agent on 8/29/03.
  • Cal O’Reilly: 145 games, 16 G, 33 A, 49 PTS; 6 games with Pittsburgh in 2011-12, 1 A. Brother of St. Louis Blues captain, Ryan O’Reilly.
    Claimed on waivers on 2/1/12 from Phoenix (Arizona). Signed with KHL next season before returning to NHL in 2013.
  • Josh Jooris: 213 games, 23 G, 32 A, 55 PTS; 9 games with Pittsburgh in 2017-18, 0 PTS
    Traded to Pittsburgh on 2/26/18 from Carolina for forward Greg McKegg. Signed as free agent with Toronto on 7/1/18.
  • Cory Cross: 659 games, 34 G, 97 A, 131 PTS; 6 games with Pittsburgh in 2005-06, 1 A
    Traded to Pittsburgh on 1/26/06 from Edmonton with Jani Rita for defenseman Dick Tarnstrom. Traded to Detroit on 3/8/06 for Detroit’s 4th round pick (Alex Grant) in 2007 NHL Draft.
  • Frantisek Kucera: 465 games, 24 G, 95 A, 119 PTS; 7 games with Pittsburgh in 2000-01, 2 A
    Traded to Pittsburgh on 3/13/01 from Columbus for Pittsburgh 6th round pick (Scott Horvath) in 2001 NHL Draft. Traded to Washington with Jaromir Jagr on 7/11/01 for Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, Ross Lupaschuk and future considerations.
  • Joel Bouchard: 364 games, 22 G, 53 A, 75 PTS; 7 games with Pittsburgh in 2002-03, 1 A
    Traded to Pittsburgh on 2/10/03 from NYR with Richard Lintner, Rico Fata and Mikael Sameulsson for Alexei Kovalev, Janne Laukkanen, Dan LaCouture and Mike Wilson. Signed as free agent with Buffalo on 7/14/03.
  • Dylan Reese: 78 games, 3 G, 14 A, 17 PTS; 3 games with Pittsburgh in 2012-13, 0 PTS. From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
    Signed as free agent on 7/1/12. Began playing in KHL in 2013.
  • Philip Samuelsson 13 games, 0 PTS; 5 games with Pittsburgh in 2013-14, 0 PTS. Son of former Penguins player, Ulf Samuelsson.
    Drafted by Pittsburgh in the 2nd round, 61st overall, in the 2009 NHL Draft. Traded to Arizona on 12/5/14 for Rob Klinkhammer and future considerations.
  • Taylor Chorney: 166 games, 4 G, 18 A, 22 PTS; 7 games with Pittsburgh in 2014-15, 0 PTS. Son former Penguins player, Marc Chorney.
    Signed as free agent on 7/1/14. Signed as free agent with Washington on 7/1/15.
  • Ron Tugnutt: 537 games, 186-239-62 record, 3.05 GAA, .895 sv%. 26 SO. Played 7 games with Pittsburgh in 1999-2000, 4-2 record, 2.40 GAA, .924 sv%, 0 SO.
    Traded to Pittsburgh on 3/14/00 by Ottawa with Janne Laukkanen for Tom Barrasso.
    Signed as free agent with Columbus on 7/4/00.
  • Mathieu Garon: 341 games, 144-131-28 record, 2.83 GAA, .903 sv%, 20 SO; 4 games with Pittsburgh in 2008-09, 2-1 record, 2.91 GAA, .894 sv%, 0 SO. Won Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009 and has name engraved on the Stanley Cup as a player as Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup that spring.
    Traded to Pittsburgh on 1/17/09 by Edmonton for Dany Sabourin, Ryan Stone and Pittsburgh’s 4th round pick (Tobias Rieder) in 2011 NHL Draft. Signed as free agent with Columbus on 1/1/09.

Honorable mention: Mike Condon. He’s the only Penguins goalie in franchise history to play in net and have a save percentage of 1.000.

Dishonorable mention: Antti Niemi. His stats still make me want to vomit years later: 3 GP (128 minutes), 0-3, 7.49 GAA, 16 GA, .797 Sv%

Here’s the list for forwards and goalies if you’re bored this weekend and want to make up a roster of your own! Let me know in the comments if there’s anyone I missed or that is more worthy of a spot. Thanks for reading!