The Penguins have a lot of players deep into legendary careers, which means that any game or goal could be a very important one that sets some kind of record or captures the milestone of a nice round number. Here are some of the top achievements that could happen in Pittsburgh next season.
Entering his 17th NHL season, Malkin should finally get to his 1,000th career game this year, perhaps as soon as November 20th in Chicago if he plays in all of the first 19 games of the campaign. Malkin also should be getting to 1,200 career points this year as well. Malkin is currently fourth for active players in total points (Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane). But the ceremony with the silver stick for the 1,000th game will be the key milestone, with Malkin on track to become only the second player in Penguins franchise history (behind Crosby) to suit up for 1,000 games in a Pens’ jersey.
Crosby is on his way to becoming just the 20th player in NHL history to record 900 career assists. With health (knock on all the wood) and a good year, Sid might have a shot at hitting 1,500 points this season as well. Crosby and Ovechkin (1,410 points, one point up on Crosby currently) continue to jockey back and forth for the highest active scoring player, with Sid’s pace for points/game being much higher, but not his ability to appear in games to this point.
Barring disaster, Malkin won’t be the only Penguin to have the 1,000th game ceremony this season, with Letang looking to join him later in the year to become the third player in franchise history to play 1,000 games with the Pens. Letang, who is currently 32nd in all-time NHL scoring among defensemen, is set to become the 27th defender in history to hit the 700 point plateau during this season (or 28th if Erik Karlsson beats him to it, but you get the idea).
With 36 appearances this season, Dumoulin will become only the fifth defenseman to play in 500 career games with the Penguins — Letang, Brooks Orpik, Ron Stackhouse, Dave Burrows are the others.
Carter is eighth among active players in total games played (behind Ryan Suter, Ovechkin, Brent Burns, Patrice Bergeron, Anze Kopitar, Phil Kessel and Corey Perry). Carter would become the 122nd player in NHL history to hit 1,200 when he plays in 30 more games this season.
Guentzel is a notch or two below his older teammates, but is in position to get to several next levels with possible 200 goals, certainly the 200 assist mark and also 400+ points with another productive season in 2022-23. Also on Guentzel’s radar is the chance to pass all of Ron Francis (164), Martin Straka (165), Chris Kunitz (169) and Mike Bullard (185) to move Jake up to eighth place for the franchise’s all-time goal list during this year.
Like Guentzel, Rakell should be getting to the 200 assist and 400 point marks this season while crossing into his 600th NHL game as well as the veteran settles into his first full season in Pittsburgh.
It would be a great sign for the Pens if Rust plays in 76 games this year and gets to his 500th career game during this season. Getting to 300 career points is way more likely and just another milestone along the way of a successful career for Rust.
Jarry should be cracking triple digits in wins this season for his career. He will likely also pass Ken Wregget (104) and Matt Murray (117) to get up to third for the most wins as a goalie for the Penguins (trailing franchise mainstays Marc-Andre Fleury and Tom Barrasso). Jarry is also one shutout away from moving into third in that category, behind the same two long-time starters.
Fleury currently sits 31 wins behind tying Patrick Roy (551) for second place on the all-time NHL record books. The Minnesota Wild play late in the season on April 6th in Pittsburgh. So while far from certain, there is an outside chance that Fleury could be either looking to tie or move past Roy in the place he played the majority of his career. If all the stars align, wouldn’t that be an amazing (and very fitting) storyline? It’s something to keep an eye on as the year develops and wait to see if something special like this could come to pass.