Monday, March 10, 2008

1990 And Beyond: The Penguin Goaltender

The ice-hockey goaltender.
If he doesn't have a short memory, your team is done.

He sits at the other end of the ice after giving up a cheap goal...

And that goal is the only thing he's thinking about.
He keeps reliving it in his head.

Oh, crap, here they come on another two-on-one.

"How would you like it at your job if whenever you made a small mistake,
a red light flashed over your desk, a horn blared, and 17,000 people stood up and yelled at you?"
-- Jacques Plante

Since 1990, the Pens have been looking for a go-to netminder.
Join us as we go through every goalie to appear in a Pens uniform over the last 18 years.

Brad Tolliver, honorable mention.



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

[ Geocities ] [ Tripod ] [ MySpace ] [ Barrasso Bio ]

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Tommy B. was drafted 5th overall by the Sabres in the 1983 draft, fresh out of high school.
He ended up winning the Vezina Trophy in his first NHL season.

In 5 full seasons with Buffalo, he was anus when it came to showing up in the playoffs,
sporting a 3-8 record, along with a 4.05 GAA and .856 SV%.

Early into the 1988-89 season, Buffalo traded Barrasso along with the eventual draft pick of Joe Dziedzic to the Pens for Doug Bodger and Darrin Shannon.

By the summer of 1992, Tom Barrasso had won two Cups with the Penguins,
recording shutouts in both Stanley Cup Finals.

It's become second nature for Penguins fans to job Barrasso, given Barrasso's propensity to give up cheap goals in big games, such as [ Benoit Hogue and David Volek in 1993 ] and Tom Fitzgerald in 1997.

It didn't help that his relationship with the media was strained:

After 1993, Barrasso's career with the Penguins turns into a fog.

The closest the Pens have gotten to the Stanley Cup since 1992 was the 1995-96 season.
Barrasso gave up the series-deciding goal on a shot from Idaho in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Florida.

After posting a 31-14-13 record, 2.55 GAA and .922%, during the 1998 season,
the Pens' playoff run came to an end when he wasn't up to snuff against the Maple Leafs.

Garry Valk in OT ends the season on Mellon ice.

In 2000, at the trading deadline, the Pens were able to get rid of him,
sending him to the Senators for solid goalie Ron Tugnutt and D-man Janne Laukannen.

Barrasso was mud for the rest of his career.
He signed a pro-forma contract with Pittsburgh when he retired,
in order to retire as a Penguin.

-- 2008 --

Despite being #2 all-time in wins amongst U.S.-born goaltenders,
he only saw action in one game in Olympic play.

He helped beat Belarus 8-1 in the 2002 Games.

He had also turned down an offer to play for the 1984 Olympic team,
opting to devote his time towards the Buffalo Sabres instead.

He has the most goalie assists in NHL history, with 48.

As of 2008, he is the goaltending coach for the Carolina Hurricanes.

-- MASKS --



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

Frankie was selected by the Pens 63rd overall in the 1983 Entry Draft.
He headed off to college and took care of business.

He started seeing considerable action with the Pens in 87-88, playing in 21 games.

In Game 6 of the Pens' first-round matchup against the Devils in the 1991 playoffs,
Frankie got the surprise of his life when Tom Barrasso was a late scratch for the game.

With the Penguins facing elimination in New Jersey,
Frankie served up this:

Overshadowed at 1992 trading deadline by the Mark Recchi trade,
Pietrangelo was sent to Hartford for 20 Micro Machines.

In the 1992 playoffs, Frankie's Whalers faced Patrick Roy's Habs in the first round.

Frankie held his own during the series, posting a 2.68 GAA and .922 SV%.
But the Whale lost in the second overtime of Game 7.

He never saw the NHL playoffs again.

-- 2008 --


-- MASKS --



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

Arguably the worst NHL goalie in this post,
he still has two more Stanley Cup rings than you do.

The Pens acquired him from the Flyers in 1988 for a gold Pog slammer.
In 187 career NHL games, Young posted 2 shutouts.

He got the brunt of the work in goal for the '88-'89 Pens:
16 - 20 - 3
4.17 GAA -- .873 SV%

The Pens averaged 4.34 goals per game that season,
so Young's goaltending sufficed, it would seem.

If your goalie has brown equipment and his GAA is 4.17, just close up shop.

The Tampa Bay Lightning grabbed him up in the 1992 expansion draft.
On the NHL '93 video game, he was the only goalie on their roster.

He came back to the Pens in 1995, played 10 games.
His last game was a 3-1 win over the Caps.

-- 2008 --

Wendell Young remains the only human being on Earth to win the Stanley Cup, Memorial Cup,
Calder Cup, Turner Cup, and Robertson Cup.

He announced his retirement from hockey in 2001.
How did we miss that.

He now runs the [ Wendell Young School of Goaltending ]

-- MASKS --

He used the Chris Osgood special for a while.
And then this:

We don't know when or what this is.



( This synopsis of Wregget's Penguins career WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. )

[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

He was originally selected 45th overall by the Maple Leafs in the 1982.
In 1992, he came to the Pens via the Recchi/Tocchet trade.

Apparently, the big deal with Wregget was the fact that he was always the bridesmaid, never the bride, during his 6+ years with the Pens.

Whenever Barrasso was hurt, Wregget was in net.
When Barrasso healed, Wregget was on the bench.

Barrasso had surgery on his right hand on January 20, 1995.
Curiously, that was the day of the first Pens game in that strike-shortened season.

Wregget stepped in and led the Penguins to a 12-0-1 record out of the gate.
He finished the season with a 25-9-2 record (3.21GAA -- .903 SV%)

Barrasso got healthy and helped dig the Pens into a 3-1 series deficit against the Caps.
Wregget was put back in net and won 3 straight.
Wregget and the Pens fell to the eventual SC champs, the Devils, in the next round.

But 1995-96 was the year that changed people's lives.

Barrasso and Wregget were goalie by committee during the season,
playing in 49 and 37 games, respectively.

And then there were the playoffs...


Barrasso started off the playoffs, and the Pens were quickly down 2-1 in the series.

In Game 4, Barrasso left after one period with back spasms.
Wregget stepped in and led the Pens to win a 4OT thriller.
He stopped Joe Juneau in that game on the first OT penalty shot in NHL history.

Wregget went on to win the next two games, and the Pens advanced.


In the next series, Wregget humiliated the Rangers as the Pens steamrolled them 4 games to 1.
He may have had an erection during that entire series, stopping 150+ shots in five games.


And now, the question must be asked:

Why wasn't Wregget in net for the Florida series?

After a 5-1 defeat in Game One of the Florida series,
Wregget did not see the net again.

Pens lose the series 4 games to 3.

Wregget's playoff stats going into the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals:

7W - 1L
2.00 GAA
.940 SV%

Luckily, we dug up an AP article written right before the Florida series.
[ The Sporting News article on Wregget's playoffs dominance ]

"Wregget, 32, is clearly making the kind of saves that could help the Penguins get back to the finals for the first time since they won the Stanley Cup in 1991 and '92."

"'We could see cracks in their game and tried to take advantage of them,' Rangers coach Colin Campbell says, "but every time it seemed like Ken Wregget was there to frustrate us.'"

"Even though Barrasso is healthy again, this playoff season has become Wregget time."


And then this article from the New York Times after Wregget just jobbed their Rangers.

"Wregget's teammates say he has been a starter in their eyes even without this burst of springtime competence that includes a club-record 53 saves against the Capitals in his series debut in Game 4."

"'His play has been phenomenal since he took over in the net; I don't know if I've ever seen Kenny in this little zone like he's in right now,' said Penguins head coach Eddie Johnston, who didn't hesitate to put Wregget right back to work in Game 3 despite the goalie's culpability in the 6-3 loss to New York in Game 2.

And that happened despite the fact that Barrasso's back spasms had ceased
and he has been ready to play again."

But Barrasso and his ego get the nod after Game One,
and the Pens lose in heartbreaking fashion.

If Johnston didn't pull Wregget after the Rangers owned him,
then why did he pull him after the Panthers owned him in Game One?

This Panther series, to us anyways, will no longer be remembered as clutch-and-grab or the series we lost because Ron Francis was injured.

The series was lost because the head coach went with the proven goalie over the hot goalie.
( Will this happen in the 2008 playoffs? Vomit. )

After sharing time with Barrasso all season, then being jobbed like that after clearly earning the #1 spot during the crunch of the NHL playoffs, Wregget was never the same again.

After the '97-98 season, Wregget was traded with Dave Roche to Calgary for German Titov.

In 56 more NHL games with the Flames and Wings,
Wregget maintained a 2.60 GAA and .903 SV%.

-- 2008 --

Someone said they saw him smoking a cigarette in his car
near the Hickory Heights Country Club in 2007.

We don't know how credible the source is.

-- MASKS --

The Batman Penguin could be one of the best masks in franchise history.



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki]


Yeah, this dude played two games for the Pens during the 1993-94 season.

It was actually his second stint with the Pens.
He was signed as a free agent in 1982.

He had the bulk of the work in '85-86, going 21-20-3.

In 1993, he was signed as a free agent seemingly due to Young being picked in the expansion draft.
Was that NHL goalie pool that thin?

In 1993-94, he went 1-0-1.

-- 2008 --

Even his mom doesn't care what's going on anymore.
Hurry up. That Roberto Romano card is on eBay for $0.89. [ eBay ]



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]

To give you an idea of how much of a silent, odorless fart this guy was in terms of the NHL,
he doesn't have a Wikipedia page.

He played in all the HL's for over 20 years.
He only played 2 NHL games, and he didn't get a decision in either.

Back in that goalie draught of the 1993-94 season, he played in two games.

On back-to-back nights, he relieved Barrasso in 7-2 and 9-1 defeats to New Jersey and Montreal, respectively.

-- 2008 --

Probably watches Will Ferrel movies all day



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

"The Penguins have been high on DeRouville since drafting him in 1992 and nothing he did with the Cleveland Lumberjacks during the early part of this season figures to change their opinion.

Still, there are two big reasons DeRouville might not make it to the NHL any time soon:

Tom Barrasso and Ken Wregget.

They are an effective tandem. But if DeRouville continues to progress,
the Penguins might be tempted to make a deal that would open a spot for him."

-- The PG's Dave Molinari

When Molinari says something, it's safe to go with the opposite.

DeRouville ended up playing three total NHL games, all with the Pens.
He went 1-2-0.

He was slated to have a bigger role during the 1996-97 season,
but another goaltender burst onto the NHL scene with the Pens, ending DeRouville's life.

He undoubtedly bribed someone to print a hockey card for him:

-- 2008 --

He's still jobbing around in Slovenina and Croatian leagues.

-- MASKS --

All White. Snore.



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

[ Lalime Land -- Tripod ]

Patrick Lalime was the hot goalie who ruined DeRouville's life.
Lalime was drafted 156th overall by the Pens in 1993.

A Ken Wregget injury in 1996-97 opened the door for a Penguins prospect to step up.
Lalime responded by going 14-0-2 in his first 16 starts, an NHL record for a rookie.

He went 7-12-0 in his next 19 games, and when Wregget returned from injury,
Lalime was relegated the backup.

After the season, the joke thought he was Patrick Roy and held out for a big contract.
He sat out an entire NHL season after making everyone's head turn a season before.
What a mistake.

In 1998, the Pens traded Lalime to the Ducks for Sean Pronger.

Eventually, Lalime found his way to Ottawa.

In his first season with the Senators, he shared the starting job with Ron Tugnutt.
Our good friend Tom Barrasso went to Ottawa at the trading deadline that season.
Lalime was stunned as he watched Barrasso get the nod in the playoffs.
The Senators were one and done.

He had 3 more solid seasons with Ottawa, getting them to within one game of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2003, only to lose to the Devils.

He got burned on two cheap goals by Toronto's Joe Nieuwendyk in Game 7 in 2004, and was promplty pulled.
It was his last game as a Senator.

If you can vividly remember laughing at him while watching that happen, you are a beast.

-- 2008 --

Since the lockout, he has toiled in mediocrity with St. Louis and Chicago.

-- MASKS --

In Ottawa, he worked Marvin the Martian into his design:

And in St. Louis:



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

[ Geocities Tribute Page ]

If you were a Penguin fan in the '90s, you remember Peter Skudra.
You just simply have to.

The Pens signed him as a free agent in 1997.

Over three seasons, Skudra appeared in 74 games.
Looking back, you don't think it'd be that many.

He saw 20 minutes of playoff action in the 2000 playoffs,
mopping up in a game against the Flyers after Tugnutt was mud.

The Pens let him go after that season.


He appeared in 17 games during the 1997-98 season.
His GAA was 1.83 and SV% was .924.

-- 2008 --

He eventually went to Boston and then to Vanouver.

-- MASKS --

He rocked his AHL mask, as seen in those pics above.
And then he used the plain-white mask for a while, if we remember correctly.

Pretty solid.

He added snarling teeth to the Penguin...even when he was with the Bruins:



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

He was selected by the Pens 76th overall in the 1995 draft.
When drafted, he was touted as the successor to Tom Barrasso.

He made his debut in the 1998-99 season, playing in 17 games.

The next season, he saw the bulk of the work in 51 games.
23 - 21 - 3
2.58 GAA -- .914 SV%

He thought that was good enough to hold out during the 2000-01 training camp
until he got a $700,000 contract.
He played in 36 games that season and was mud.

"The long, endless search for Tom Barrasso's successor appears to be over.

Despite an injury that kept him out of the playoffs,
Aubin showed the Pens he's ready to take over the reigns.

A quiet, cool customer, Aubin plays with the poise of a 10-year veteran.

If he can show more durability, he will backstop the Penguins into the 2001 playoffs."

-- The Sports Forecaster, 2000.

He may have gotten a bad rap the next few seasons,
playing behind the worst team in hockey.

By 2003, the arrival of Marc-Andre Fleury sealed Aubin's fate in Pittsburgh.

Aubin's stats as a Penguin:
63 - 72 - 11
2.94 GGA -- .898%


His only playoff appearance was in Game 6 against Buffalo in 2001.
He was in net for 54 seconds.

Anyone remember why?
We can vaguely recall Hedberg having an equipment problem.

-- 2008 --

In 2006, He found his way to the biggest pressure job in sports, the goalie for the Maple Leafs.
He went 9-0-2 towards the tail end of the season.
He's been mud since.

In 2008, as a goalie for the Kings,
he somehow garnered an appearance in a widely-played AMP commercial with Ryan Miller.

-- MASKS --

If he put as much effort on the ice as he put into his masks, he'd probably still be a joke.



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

[ Ron Tugnutt at FreeWebs ]

After some horrible seasons early in his career when he was given the #1 job with the Quebec Nordiques, it became apparent that Ron Tugnutt was built to be a backup.

You can ask Patrick Roy, too.
When Tugnutt backed up Roy in 94-95, St. Patrick unleashed this gem:

"He's that guy who plays when I don't want to."

Unlike Roy, Tugnutt didn't cry his way out of Montreal.
He was signed by Ottawa as a free agent eventually.

Maybe the tutelage of Roy helped him a little,
'cause when he went to Ottawa, he started dominating when given the #1 job.

In four years there, he had a GAA of 2.35 and .906 %.

After an unreal year in 1998-99, he was semi-mud during 99-2000.
That's what prompted the Sens to trade Tugger to Pittsburgh for Tom Barrasso.

Once he got here, he crapped in JS Aubin's mouth and assumed the #1 job.
What followed was a fairy-tale ride through the playoffs.

After a 4-1 series win against Washington,
the Flyers loomed, and the Pens had no chance.

All they did was go into Philly and win games 1 and 2.
In Pittsburgh for Game 3, we get jobbed in OT.

Game 4 was an epic. 5 OT's.
It ended like this:

In the 5th overtime, Keith Primeau jobs Tugger.

The Pens never recovered, losing the next two and bowing out of the playoffs.

Tugnutt's 1.77 GAA and .945% during those playoffs are still franchise records.

-- 2008 --

As the first goalie in Blue Jackets history,
Tugnutt set an expansion-season record with 22 wins.

His .924% was tops in the league.

Tugger once stopped 70 shots in a regulation game. [ YouTube ]

-- MASKS --




[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

A career backup goalie, he finally got the starting job in Vancouver in 98-99.
He was lackluster.

Following another jobber season, the Pens signed him in free agency.

Within the first month of the 2000-01 season, Snow assumed the starting job.
But that ended when he went down with a groin injury in early February.

Showing the Pens' weariness with Aubin,
they went out and got another goalie at the trading deadline.

Snow played two games before the playoffs, both losses, and that was it for him as a Pen.

If there's anything for Snow to be proud of:
He was the Pens goaltender for Lemieux's return on December 27, 2000.

-- 2008 --

He eventually found himself as the GM for the Islanders.

He's made waves recently when, as part of the NHL's movement to streamline goaltender equipment, he told the NHL all the ways he used to cheat.

-- MASKS --




[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

Brought in as insurance at the 2001 trading deadline,
Johan Hedberg took Pittsburgh by storm and peed on Aubin's face.

His mask featured a moose on it,
considering he had played for the AHL's Manitoba Moose that season.

His blue mask became a staple of the Pens playoff run.

He was given a shot when he came here, going 7-1-1 in 9 regular-season appearances.
He had cemented the top job as the playoffs began.

Moose Mania consisted of the sign for the Pittsburgh suburb Heidelberg being changed by fans to read "Hedberg."

The Pens swallowed up the mania by giving out moose antlers during the playoffs.

The Pens lost the first game in Washington.

They won 4 of the next 5 and were headed to the second round.

1.44 GAA -- .944 SV%
1 Shutout

The Pens went into Buffalo as the underdog and nonchalantly won two games in HSBC.
Hedberg came up with the shutout in Game One, outplaying Dominik Hasek.

The Pens opened up their game a little after that,
trying to put the final nails into the coffin.

Instead, Buffalo rattles off three straight wins.

After a Game 6 OT victory...
Hedberg went center-stage in Game 7.

May 10, 2001
Hedberg vs. Hasek

Hedberg makes big save after big save under the pressure of Game 7.
Looking back, he may have not known the brevity of the situation.
He was just in the zone.

The Pens get out of there with a 3-2 OT win on Kaspar's goal.
Hedberg outplays Hasek again.

The Eastern Conference Finals

After stealing Game 2 in New Jersey, the Pens hit the wall.

It didn't help matters that the definition of trap hockey
was in full force in Pittsburgh for Game 3 and 4.

The Pens lose 3-0 and 5-0 at the Mellon.
It's up there with the emptiest feelings ever experienced by Pens Nation.

Despite valiant efforts by the Moose, the Pens lose the series 4-1.

The financially strapped Penguins decided Hedberg's run
was enough to earn him the #1 spot going into the following season.

Playing behind the worst team in the NHL,
Hedberg gave up 2.75 goals a game.

The following season was an abomination, though.

That mud season, couple with MAF's appearance on the scene,
prompted the Pens to trade him for an alarm clock.

-- 2008 --

After stints with Vancouver and Dallas,
to the joy of Pens fans, Hedberg found a job in Atlanta, where the Moose lives on.

-- MASKS --



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

During the goalie carousel of the 2000-01 season,
Rich Parent saw action in 7 games, going 1-1-3.

And that was it.


He played with St. Louis during the 1997-98 season.

During practice in February '98, Blues D-man Al MacInnis fired a slapshot at him.
Parent was out 13 games with "a scrotal contusion and ruptured testicle."

We couldn't find an article online indicating the actual event,
but all of his online bios mentioned the injury.

Hopefully, someone walks in on you while you're Googling "Rich Parent" + "testicle."



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

Sebastien Caron was just awful as a Penguin between 2002 and 2006.

24 - 47 - 7 - 5
3.45 GAA
.893 SV%

Of course, he was behind the worst team in sports.
He would, on occasion, show flashes of solid play in goal, but he wasn't consistent.


-- 2008 --

With the Blackhawks.

-- MASKS --



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

During the Dark Ages of 2002-2006, a couple of jobbers got some plugger appearances.

Brochu played in one game as a Pen on March 17, 2004,
mopping up after Caron in a 6-1 loss to the Devils.

-- 2008 --




[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

Towards the tail end of the 2003-2004 season, Chiodo appeared in 8 games.

3 - 4 - 1
3.46 GAA
.892 SV%

That's it.



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

As the Penguins first-overall pick in 2003,
Fleury was finally the franchise goaltender all of these jobbers above aspired to be.

He made waves with his bright-yellow goalie equipment.

He was thrown into the fire early,
having to stop 46 of 48 shots in his first start, a 3-1 loss to Los Angeles.

He stayed up until he was gonna reach the benchmarks to be paid NHL money and was then sent down to the AHL.

After the lockout, Pens Mania was running wild.
Crosby was here, and the Pens needed Fleury with the big club to promote the team.
He went 13-27-6 that season, with 3.25 GAA and .898 SV%.

As expected, Fleury began to flourish as the Penguins franchise did.
In 2006-07, he stunned the world, anchoring the Pens to a short-lived playoff run.
40 - 16 - 9
2.83 GAA -- .906 SV%

Was he gonna be able to follow that season up with something crazier?
That's yet to be determined, as a high-ankle sprain sidelined him for a bulk of the 07-08 season.

Returning from injury in 2008, MAF had switched to white equipment.

-- MASKS --



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

When the Pens traded for Thibault going into '05-'06, it was supposed to be different.

Gonchar and Zigmund Palffy were coming, and it looked as though the Pens had locked up a dependable starting goalie to carry the team while MAF developed.

But he got injured early on and lost any chance to get a #1 job in the NHL again.

Before coming to Pittsburgh, Thibault had a solid track record.
He was selected 10th overall by Quebec in the 1993 draft

When the Nordiques moved to Colorado, he was on his way back to Quebec Province.
He was the goalie the Canadiens got when they traded Patrick Roy.

Under a scrutinous spotlight, he got the bulk of the work and helped the Canadiens to the playoffs every year he was there.

By 1998, the Canadiens traded him to Chicago.

And in Chicago was where Thibault proved his mettle,
playing in an average of 62 games per season.
His GAA stayed under 2.75 and his SV% hovered around .900.

As a Penguin, he had a vomitable 1-9-3 record in 16 appearances in 2005-06.

By the 06-07 season, he was cemented as Fleury's backup,
providing the Pens some solid backup play down the stretch.

-- 2008 --

Ryan Miller's backup in Buffalo.


He was the winning goaltender at the last games in the Montreal Forum and Maple Leaf Gardens.

-- MASKS --



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

His wins in 2007-08 were a huge difference in the standings at the end of the season.

-- MASKS --

Originally thought to be Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters 2,
the face on his mask is his daughter's.



[ Game-by-Game Results and Career Stats ]
[ Wiki ]

A career minor-leaguer, he finally start pushing onto the NHL scene in 2003-04.
His woes in the Stanley Cup Finals in 05-06 are well documented. [ YouTube ]

Everything aside, something made the Pens sign him as a free agent before the 07-08 season.

In early December, MAF went down.
It became apparent that Conklin was going to be getting some action.

He responded...

17 - 6 - 5
2.35 GAA
.928 SV%


Has participated in both outdoor games in NHL history.


Barrasso Pics -- [ Sabres Legends ]
Hedberg Pics -- [ NJ's Pens Page ]
Goalie Cards -- [ Goalie Cards ]

If you notice something of ours that we didn't credit, e-mail us ( the )

[ In the Crease ] -- Goalie Masks
[ ] -- Game-by-Game Results and Stats


Dr. Turkleton said...


no mention of Craig Hillier? the #1 pick from 1996?

oh, wait...

Ashley said...


awesome post, staff!

Colin said...


Nathan said...

Great post, guys. The 5 OT game against Philadelphia was Game 4 of that series, though.

I was lucky enough to be in attendance for one of Caron's 28 wins as a Penguin. It was also the only game I've seen the Pens win in Carolina (out of about 6 or so); Pittsburgh's 2-0 in games I've been to in Washington.

I Have Kasparaitis said...


I still like a few of them ... Hedburg had to have been one of my favs. I still like Thibault, but Caron, ehh, I didn't like him really.

I heard that Tom Barrasso beat his wife and she stabbed him with a knife once ... this isn't ture is it? (Note: I was extremely young when this happened. I don't feel like getting jobbed because I am young ...)

Eric K said...

great post. really poses the question as to who was the more popular backup...Hedberg in 00/01 or Conklin in 07/08?
the moose antlers vs. steigy and bob's proposed "ties" to support conklin. no contest there.

Caron took the blunt of the blame for the lackluster teams in the early 2000's, i would still job him today, he was just bad.

artie stevens said...

solid, solid post..nice work staff!

by the way, that kenny wregget mask with the penguin from batman is enshrined in the entrance to the hockey hall of fame along with a bunch of other sick goalie masks. i have some pictures on my computer at home.

schmuffinnips11 said...

The Pens acquired him from the Flyers in 1988 for a gold Pog slammer....I think I might pass out

michelle said...

This is pure dedication to the preservation of and the continued greatness of Penguins hockey.

Thanks for the informative post, guys.

Pensblog Staff said...

Thanks for all the kind words so far.

Nathan, thanks for the correction.

We try to nail our sources as much as possible so when a Penguin fan finds this site three years from now, they can depend on factual information.

We encourage it.

J.S. said...

Hopefully, someone walks in on you while you're Googling "Rich Parent" + "testicle."


I Have Kasparaitis said...

I know this doesn't actually fit in with the post, but ...

"Hossa, who suffered the injury in his first game with the Penguins on Feb. 28, hopes to make his Penguins home debut this week – either Wednesday against the Sabres or Sunday against the Flyers."


norojo said...

solid solid solid, you guys are gods, this may be the best post of all time, i totally forgot about half of those guys

J.S. said...

and I have a dopson goalie mask pic

rare footage!!1!1one!

blufftalk said...

  Anyone remember Olie Sundstrom (sp?) He had to back up the Pens on an emergency basis for the home opener one season.

Eric said...

Martin Brochu. HA.

Ellie said...

i love a history lesson that involves hockey!

nice job guys : )

J.S. said...

detectiveblog (or: why the hell does J.S. care about a goalie who played two more games in the NHL than anybody else in c-blog?)

Robert Dopson, Chief Operating Officer (Smiths Falls)

Born and raised in Smiths Falls, Rob's clients greatly appreciate the fact that he is a hometown boy who cares for the community. A graduate of the Kinesiology program at Wilfrid Laurier University, Rob enjoyed a 15-year career as a professional hockey player (which included time with the Pittsburgh Penguins as well playing overseas in Britain and Japan) before returning home and purchasing Couch & Hare Insurance Brokers in January 2006.

An active volunteer, Rob loves giving back to the town he grew up in. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Smiths Falls Golf and Country Club and has helped organize charity golf tournaments for a variety of great causes, including cancer and colitis. He also puts a high priority on helping the children of Smiths Falls, volunteering at hockey camps, speaking at schools and special events and helping with Kinsmen recreational activities.

Licensed by the Registered Insurance Brokers of Ontario (RIBO), when he's not running the day-to-day operations of the Taylor Group's Smiths Falls office Rob enjoys golfing and spending time with his five children.

...and watching Will Ferrell movies.


Fleury29 said...

Philippe DeRouville, ha! I actually have two of his cards. (And neither of them are the one pictured.) One with the Pens, that's signed (yeah, I met him once) and one with the IHL's Kansas City Blades. I thought he was going to be awesome but it was not to be.

That game yesterday was life-changing.

This post today is life-changing.


Pensblog Staff said...

hahahaha we didn't even bother googling dopson.
what a mistake

Flyer Hater said...

Guys, Barrasso can't hear your criticism, he's got 2 stanley cup rings plugging his ears.

Pensblog Staff said...

oh, why doesn't he have three?

Flyer Hater said...

Roy said about Tugnutt:

"He's that guy who plays when I don't want to."

Reason #339309030939 why Patrick Roy is one of my favorite athletes ever.

vezonex said...

awesome stuff, though i did notice three key omissions...

First, I'm surprised there was no mention of Wregget stoning us in Game 7 of the second round in the '89 playoffs. Most Pens fans already knew his name when he got here three years later.

Secondly, where's Bruce Racine? Sure, he never actually played a game for us, but he was guy the Pens would have had to turn to if Frankie got hurt in that famous Game 6 against NJ. Racine was technically on the roster when the Pens won their first Cup, and celebrated with the rest of the team.

Finally, there was no mention of Aubin getting hurt with three games left in the 99-00 season. Does anyone else remember that he was actually supposed to be our starter going into those playoffs? Tugnutt got the nod only after Aubin was hurt.

jackedlobster said...


Nick Saia (usa) said...

great read! remember when skudra's glove busted against Toronto in the playoffs... HEART BREAK CITY!

also, I remember when kaspar scored that goal against buffalo in gm 7 with hedburg in net like it was yesterday. But remember that the sabres had already painted conference semis on the ice for the game 7 because of a backstreet boys concert... haha JOBBED!

Nathan said...

And of course, Skudra got written into a Saturday Night Live sketch where Ray Romano was playing a new SportsCenter anchor trying to come up with a catch phrase:

"To hockey, where Penguins goalie Peter Skudra says, 'Hey! Don't shoot the puck in my pooper!' But the Boston Bruins say 'We're going to shoot the puck wherever we like, and if it happens to be in your pooper, then so be it!'"

That sketch is the only one I remember from that particular episode, probably because it was the only sketch in that episode that made me laugh.

On another note, I know it's an anathema for a Pens fan, but let's go Rangers tonight.

coffeytalk said...


Nick Saia (usa) said...


chris e said...

Unreal post. Thanks for the history lesson staff. Awesome

AJ said...

Great job, staff! However, you failed to mention one of the great things that makes Johan Hedberg a part of Penguins lore...King's "Johan's Moose Track Sundae." You're all lying if you say you didn't get one the second you heard about them.

Eric K said...

If you haven't seen it yet...turn on the Sabres/Rangers game on VERSUS right now and wait for them to show a closeup of Jagr. His goatee/patch of hair on his chin is the gayest thing i have ever seen.

you talk horrible arrangements of facial hair, you talk Jaromir Jagr. wow. ill try to find a pic of it later, but right now if you have VERSUS turn it on, 3rd pd. should be starting soon. its not a bad game either, 2-2.

Flyer Hater said...

Anyone watching the Rangers-Sabres game on Versus?

Why does Bill "pornstache" McCreary have a job? He's by far the worst official in any professional sport.

stokes said...

When Staff stops by Cblog to tell us that they're going to post something soon, you know that it will melt your face. So, i put sunscreen on and it still melted my face. WHAT A POST.

Hedberg is probably my favorite out of all of them. My buddy refuses, to this day, to give any credit to The Moose for how good he was and how far he enabled the Pens to go that year.

Great post, Staff. Well done. I honestly didn't know half of those guys existed.

And the Pog comment....well, enough said.

Stoosh said...

Blufftalk just made my f'ing day with the Olie Sundstrom reference. Why?

Because both Sundstrom and Peter Skudra were two of the goaltenders on the last Erie Panthers team ever in 1995-96. The Panthers - our ECHL hockey team for the better part of eight years or so - were a big reason why I became a hockey fan.

By the time 1995-96 rolled around, the ECHL had expanded well into the south, so playing in Erie and Johnstown was the equivalent of being banished to Siberia. Players didn't want to play in either location, so the teams stunk and attendance dropped.

Despite that, Olie "The Goalie" was the last fan favorite in Panthers history. He and Skudra kinda-sorta split goaltending duties in 1995-96. The club would bolt for Baton Rouge or something that summer and Erie adopted the former Niagara Falls Thunder of the OHL, turning them into the Erie Otters (which have become far more loved in Erie than the Panthers ever were).

Skudra's story in Erie was pretty pathetic, actually. He played just 12 games for the Panthers in 1995-96 before bailing on the team without telling them the morning of a game. No joke...he was in line to start that night, but no one was able to get a hold of him in his hotel room in Erie that morning. Calls to the hotel staff confirmed that he checked out that morning, left town and never bothered to call the Panthers front office to let them know.

How minor league was Erie? THAT'S how minor league Erie was (or still is).

When I was home for summers from college, a bunch of us used to get together all the time to play roller hockey. My buddy who lived next door was one of our goalies and a huge Devils fan. He had two jerseys...a red Brodeur jersey and a white Erie Panthers Peter Skudra (#1).

Stoosh said...

Wow, did that post bring back some memories.

How awesome was Wregget's mask that showcased Danny Devito as "The Penguin"?

And I miss those black jerseys with the diagonal "PITTSBURGH". Wasn't as crazy about the first 3rd jersey (the one with the grey stripe around the middle), but I loved those diagonal PITTSBURGH ones.

Aubin's "Pittsburgh cityscape" mask - the one he's wearing in the middle picture of the top row showing his masks - is one of my all-time favorite Pens masks. If I remember correctly, that mask had the city skyline somewhat silhouetted against an orange-ish gold sky that just looked incredibly bad-ass.

Tom Barrasso for Ron Tugnutt and Janne Laukkanen. I still laugh my ass off when thinking about that, wondering what the hell Marshall Johnston (then Ottawa-GM) was thinking. This deal happened after Barrasso's game had gone to hell and he'd already had the big blowup with Aubin.

Zarley Zalapski Blues Explosion said...

Nick saia,

I thought they already had painted it on there because of an arena football game. That's the story I remember.

I remember Straka giving a hysterical interview after scoring in OT of Game 6 of that series too. He was going apeshit and the guy for ESPN said "Somebody get him a valuum!"

Definitely my favorite playoff series that didn't involve winning a Cup.

And for some reason I remember liking Caron early in his stay here. I don't remember why, but at the time I had some reason to believe he was our goalie of the future. Cocaine's a helluva drug.

Also, I remember during the dark ages (02-06) the Post-Gazette would always job the Penguins by saying they were in the shitter because they traded away guys like Lalime in the past.

Hahahaha!! What a joke. Patty Lalime's only success in the NHL just happened to coincide with our worst years. You knew some dickwad at the time would try to connect the two. Probably Smizik.

And finally, the cool thing to do in grade school in the 90s was call our goalie "Tom Barasshole".

Stoosh said...


How money was Craig Patrick with some of the under-the-radar moves from about 1995-96 through 2000-01?

JJ Daigneault from the Blues for an 8th round pick.

Kasparaitis for Smolinski.

Barnes and Woolley for Chris Wells.

Jiri Slegr from Edmonton for a 3rd rounder.

He signed Straka to a free agent camp deal prior to the 1997-98 season and then plucked Bobby Lang off the waiver wire from Boston in October of that year.

It wasn't under the radar, but he got Kovalev from the Rangers for Nedved (who was holding out), Tamer and Sean Pronger (the return for Lalime).

He dealt Stu Barnes from a team that had way too many soft centers for Matthew Barnaby, a move that was great until Barnaby became a sideshow act after Lemieux came back.

He got Bobby Boughner for Pavel F'ing Skrbek.

He got Hedberg and Bobby Dollas for Jeff Norton, which was probably his last great move before the bottom fell out after the 00-01 season.

Stoosh said...

Zarley - What the PG writers conveniently forgot (or were just too lazy to look up) is that after he was traded by the Pens after the 1996-97 season, Lalime wallowed in the minor leagues for two full seasons. He didn't return to the NHL until 1999-00, and that was as Tugnutt's backup.

Nathan said...

Betterthannothingblog: The Rangers beat Buffalo 3-2 in a shootout. Magic number = 14.

Johnny Wrath said...

I was there when Primeau shook Kaspar and roofed it. Nobody who stayed moved forward for a better seat, as superstition makes people do strange things. I haven't worn that jersey I had on since.

1994 was the worst year of my life. We had lost to Florida, Kurt Cobain was found dead, then the fucking Rangers won. Me = stunned. I suppose its no shock that now I like Black Metal.

I used to read a lot of Calvin and Hobbes when I was young, and I thought "If I had a transmogrifier, I would combine Caron and Aubin into one technically sound goalie who didn't give up on the play". I ended up getting that goalie in Hedberg. The astonishing thing is that we never kept any of those guys.

Hence, I think I'm so pro-Fleury the same way people who never owned a home growing up are so adamant that it's what they want. Something steady, something that will always be there when they're trying to rest their heads on something that is unequivocally theirs. He's still the youngest #1 in the league, and his win total last season was third only to those who broke or tied all-time records. Solid as a 30 year fixed.

So, here's to all us fans who lived in the Baldwin era, watched those teams disintegrate, and returned for the third time with the 2 greatest players in the whole of the game. That, my friends, is what separates us.

Lets Fucking Go Pens.

Dani said...

We seem to like whoring up each others' goalies... heh. If our GM keeps going like he is, you may just get Ryan Miller. Hooray! Eric Staal. Check. Marc Staal. Check. Jordan... YO MAMA?!

Elliot Spitz. <3's prostitutes.

Dani said...

Oh yes, Peters you suck but I love you.

And creepiest moment ever....
VS Announcer: You would look real good in one of those pink hats. Reeeeaaal good.

Eric K said...

Gonna be fun to watch Peters and Ruutu trying to get under each other's skin on Wed. night.

@ dani...
has Peters been with the Sabres all year, i can't remember seeing him before tonight?

PittHockey said...

that makes you realize what a goalie carousel we had in the burgh until MAF.

Brian said...

Great post guys, but how could you leave this out of your piece about Snow?

Fleury29 said...

"Goalie Carousel," that's hilarious. There was a reason I didn't buy a Penguins jersey that wasn't a retro from the time Tom Barrasso left to the time Marc-Andre Fleury arrived and this post illustrates it.

Imagine being a Devils fan where they've had the same guy in net since 1993. How boring would that be, eh?

Jonny V said...

Flyer Hater, friggin' awesome Roy quote. I've never heard that one, but it's def. in my top five all time quotes now.

Nathan, huuuge use of the word "anathema." I'd buy u a shot but i don't know ya.

Staff, this more than makes up for never finishing that Heros-webisode (I don't even remember the name of it) debacle (R.I.P. Myron)

To go along with this, foxsports pittsburgh is running a special on friday at 8:00 PM about the history of the Penguins. Sounds fairly life-altering. And someone that knows about uploading video to youtube should hook that up for all aliens and out-of-towners.

Zarley Zalapski Blues Explosion said...

If someone records then uploads the video of the Pens history to Youtube, the people that run Pensblog should hire hookers to provide oral sex for him for 72 consecutive hours.

Sounds like a fair reward to me.

Hip said...

I missed the post-game dinner at Fado's? Unreal. I'm so bummed :o( Chris E and Nathan - awesome to meet you both as well. Nathan's wife = sexxy in her tPB "Bing" tshirt. I'll be venturing down for future games at Mellon South so maybe we can have a repeat performance next year.

@Dr. Turk - what did you even do? What a joke. Who will keep me company there now?

Some dude in front of me at the game had a Kenny Wregget jersey on. Solid. Can't wait to read this post - what's the trick to get rid of the gray boxes of death again?

nu said...

And less than 48 hours ago I was wishing for a picture of newbie-Hedberg. Wow.

"From #35 to #35" Brilliantblog.

Oh Conkblog, history is not on your side, is it. ;_;
(Nor on Fleury's, for that matter.)
Still at the end of every hard-earned day, people find some reason to believe.

Frankie didn't go to Hollywood, he went to England. Only takes us up to 2001, though.

DOPSON!! HE EXISTED!! looks like he had #1. At least if he's the same guy has as "Rob Dobson".

All the masks you could ever want to shake a stick at up to 2004. Even a Moose mask with no moose.

craig hillier existed too!

Vinnie said...

Much like the arena post last week, educationblog all over again.

Way to go, guys.

meecrofilm said...


this is why thepensblog is a big deal.

amazing post staff.

Dani said...

@ erik k

No no... Kaleta with Ruutu! Kaleta has his own section that keeps track of his hits for gods sake! Peters actually got a goal after Campbell was traded. FUNNIEST goal celebration EVER!

Steve In Denver said...

As a long time goalie, that intro was money. There's no feeling in the world like giving up a cheap goal, and then having the other team coming right back at you again. Especially in an elimination game.

There's also no feeling like douching someone for being a dick in your crease, or for jobbing one of your teammates. And most of the time you get away with it with just a warning.

I was going to give props to one of the first Pens goalies I saw when I was a kid...Michel Dion...but I looked at his stats and realized that he pretty much sucked.

I was at a game when he took a Steve Shutt (of the Habs) slapper off the melon, and he dropped to his knees and fell back into the net. At first we thought he was relieved to have made the save, then realized he was out cold and bleeding. D'oh! The next night he was in the press box between periods showing the home viewers the dent in his mask and the stitches in his head.

I was looking for a pic of his mask and found this ridiculous website. No idea if it's related to him or not, but what a wild party. Or something.

I also remember Roberto Romano in his first stint. He was really acrobatic, but unfortunately for him, he wasn't defending shots from Olga Corbutt.

The goaltending position has changed so much since the early 80's when I started watching and playing. Maybe moreso than any other position in all of sports. The equipment, the technique, etc. That would be a good topic for an off season post.

Solid. Seeing a goalie themed post made my day.

Jonny V said...

Just was on the post-gazette's web site and saw a couple of interesting things:

Sid made the cover of this week's ESPN magazine

And Seth from Empty Netter's took over the chat from Shelly Anderson this week. A good read.

nu said...

@ steve in denver:

Does this look familiar?

It sure looks uncomfortable.

sh0ez said...


This is another reason why I love coming here.

Fred Jones said...

Outstanding post gentlemen!!!

Brought back some good memories-Moose, and awful ones-Florida rat series.

GREAT GREAT JOB. Post's like this are why you are my first read everyday!!!

Pensgirl said...

Nice job Staff. Can't believe nobody's paying you for this shit. Dedicationblog.

The one thing I never understood is why we didn't keep the Moose to mentor Fleury. He's solid enough to have been the #1 guy as Fleur developed and not-psycho enough to handle helping a kid who was there to take his place. Ah well, que sera sera.

Sometimes I think we just ruined guys at the development stage. Like kids learning language, it seems (and attendant goalies can correct me if I'm wrong) like there's a "sweet spot" of time to develop a young goalie, and we couldn't deliver during that time for any of them, affecting their entire careers. When that many guys don't turn out the way you expected, at some point you have to ask whether it's them or you. And if it is us, I suspect that it's more in the training than the drafting.

Steve In Denver said...

That's the one. It looks like it was molded from an elephant's face.

BlacknGold66 said...

I was stationed over-seas up until late 2006 so I had never seen that Caron save. It made me just crap my pants.

Speaking of which...

A buddy of mine hated Hedberg simply because they shared a nickname.

We called him "Moose" because he literally crapped his pants on the way to a Cleveland Lumberjacks game back in the day. The Jacks were playing the Minnesota Moose of the IHL at the time.

Ah, to be young and watch your good friend shit his pants in horror again.


Brando said...

great post, in the spirit of the 90s, emptynetters found a video that I have been looking for for years. Mario trying to kill Kerry Fraser at the first pens game I ever went to.

Eric K said...

wow Mario snapped.

FijiH2O said...

Loved the clip of Mario charging after Frasier. I remember when that happened. The Big Guy sure had a way of getting fired up!

Loved the goalie retrospective, too. I had completely forgotten about some of those guys. Goalie masks are awesome!

Goalies, arenas, magic numbers - this is better than Bob Errey's Hockey 101.

Pensgirl said...

Hossa not expected to play tomorrow. Also, Max (ankle) and Sykora (back) are also out.

Hip said...

fuck - max is out again?

Stoosh said...

PENSGIRL - On the radio here yesterday in the Burgh, Phil Bourque said Hossa's getting close, but he would've been surprised to see him on the ice tomorrow night. He said he thinks Sunday will be a much more realistic target date back for him.

Steve MacD said...

"Guys, Barrasso can't hear your criticism, he's got 2 stanley cup rings plugging his ears."

"oh, why doesn't he have three?

Now THAT's what I call a scrotal contusion!

Joey80 said...

great post. thanks for the memories. i forgot about half those guys, especially hedberg. thanks for reminding me how much of a joke he really was.

"Hedberg is probably my favorite out of all of them. My buddy refuses, to this day, to give any credit to The Moose for how good he was and how far he enabled the Pens to go that year."

if you want we can have this conversation again on wednesday night at the souper bowl.



BlacknGold66 said...

Heberg was the fucking man!

I think Conklin should put on the Winter Classic mask for the rest of the year to give him that "Moose" look.


Ok. It was just a thought.

Let's Go Pens!!!

stokes said...

see joey: YOU'RE an idiot.

Corey said...

FYI, Frank Pietrangelo is a player agent now. He's listed on . Potash interviewed him before a game a couple years ago. Said he mostly represents AHL and NHL players.

J said...

Great Post.
Too bad about Wregget.
Also the kids refer to him as MAF.

blueline said...

Kick ass post, guys...

Extra tid on Wendell Dung: he was the goalie who broke The Jinx at the Spectrum.


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