A Jersey Shared - 43 Seasons Of Habs / Pens Players
Over the course of 43 NHL seasons since 1967-68, 38 players have worn both the Canadiens and Penguins jerseys. Some are fairly will known, name players if you will. Others are more obscure, so much so that you might not recall them playing for either club.
While 39 players are a fair amount for the time the Penguins have been in the NHL, the teams have made few major deals.
I thought it would be interesting to look back on this group of players and see how many you can remember. For each, I found a photo of the players with one team or another, sometimes both. For each there's a comment given that provides a hint . Some players surely won't require hints, but let's see how many you can name. Post your answers in the comments, and after tonight's game is in the books I'll post the anwsers in full.
1 - (Photo at the top of post) This player was an original Penguin in 1967. As the six original teams helped stockpile the expansion clubs, he was one of four former Habs in the Penguins lineup that season. He rerurned to the Canadiens organization a short while later, to tutor Larry Robinson on the Nova Scotia Voyageurs farm club. He was also a member of the expansion Atlanta Flames.
2 - Also an original Pens player from 1967, both he and his brother Bill played for Montreal, although not at the same time.
3 - This stay at home defenseman was best known for his work as Blackhawk and Maple Leaf in the 1960's. He played 74 games for the 1967 Penguins, his last NHL season. Three years later, he returned to the Canadiens, coaching them to the 1971 Stanley Cup.
4 - Traded to Pittsburgh on August 30, 1979, for the player at #5. He went on to win two Stanley Cups with the Oilers in 1984 and 1985.
5 - One of Guy Lafleur's favorite targets in Pittsburgh, this goalie's other dubious distinction invloves goofing up a goal in the game that ended the 1970's Habs dynastic run.
6- Sacrifed by the Penguins in the Ron Francis trade, this blueliner came to Montreal from Calgary with Jonas Hogland for Valeri Bure. Good on the Pens, not so on the Habs.
7 - Anyone recalling this player as a Penguin or Hab likely recalls their own birth. His 30 goal scoring brother was a member of the Canadiens 1993 Stanley Cup, but this younger sibling had nothing more than a cup of coffee NHL career. They poured him the java in Montreal, gave him sugar in Pittsburgh and he recieved a creamer in Florida. Never did get the container.
8 - As journeyman as journeyman gets, this suitcase veteran made his mark as a coach in the 1980's in a big way. Back in the 1970's, you could say he had some Matt Cooke in him!
9 & 10 - These two players were teamed in Pittsburgh and in Montreal, briefly. You don't need more hint than their pics.
11 - This player spent seven seasons in a Canadiens uniform. Hope he relished the stability. Having already made stops in two NHL cities, after he departed Montreal he played a whopping eight other cities in the next seven years. Now works for the NHL travel and logistics department.
12 - This player was once traded to the Capitals in a NHL voided deal. Rumour has always been that Washington believed they were getting a Habs superstar and not this ten prospect. While in the Caps training camp waiting for a compass, he was dealt to Pitt, where he popped 25 goals in 1981.
13 - A former Penguin and a Hab of recent vintage who was not returned of the great purge of 2009.
14 - Unbelieveable that a prospect of such great promise could wear out a welcome so quick and profoundly. Was a Pen for but a dozen games before the Habs took a flyer on him. Sad tale all around, playing only 156 career games in the bigs.
15 - This guy played "Flocky Hockey". Need more be said?
16 - In the summer of 1991, the Habs traded this prospect to New Jersey in a deal with number 22 on this list for Kirk Muller. Leaving his turtleneck for Tomas Plekanec, he went on put up a half dozen double digit scoring seasons before arriving in Pittsburgh just in time for the end of his career.
17 - This player spent a decade in Beantown, winning two Cups before arriving in Montreal for two seasons in the mid '70's. The Habs dispatched him to Pittsburgh for a draft pick (Richard David).
18 - Not a toughie. A current Habs player with two big goals in these playoffs.
19, 20, 21 - These three are lumped together by photo session, and a bit more. The first was a referred to as Cornelius by Mathieu Barnaby back in the day. A member of the Habs '93 Cup, he dyed and spiked his greying hair apparently, to fool those knowing he was ageing fast. He finished out in Pitt in 2006, but a decade earlier the Habs offed him to Jersey for #22. Player number 20 was aquired to fill Patrick Roy's shoes in 1995, and traded in a deal to Chicago for number 21 and others in 1998. Is that complicated? They were both teammates with the '06 Pens.
22 - The only other Canadien apart from Guy Lafleur to have more than one 50 goal season. Also leads Lafleur in unretirements, two to one, which is how he ended up in Pitt alongside the uneretired Mario Lemieux.
23 - Some "History Will Be Made" trivia on this guy. He was the first pro goalie credited with scoring a goal, which he did while a member of the Kansas City Blues on February 21, 1971.
24 - I can't help it. When I think of this player, I think of the almost-hatched Andre Savard engineered deal that almost made Illya Kovalchuk a Hab on draft day 2001. Savard opted to hang onto this goalie rather than part with Jose Theodore as part of the six player deal. Yes, ouch!
25 - The man they call "Bugsy" presumably because of his resemblance to Bugs Bunny and the fact that drove everybody buggers on the ice. "Superpest" was another moniker. Barely recalled as a Hab in the 1960's, this defenseman played in eight NHL cities, including a five season stretch with Pitt in the 1970's.
26 - Best remembed for being forgettable in Montreal a few seasons ago, the Penguins traded aquired this center from Boston in 1995, along with Glen Murray, for Kevin Stevens and Shawn McEachern.
27 - Once bandied about and noose tagged as a second coming of Rocket Richard in the late fifties, this once promising Hab settled in as a 20 goal scorer with a middling career. Lots of personal stuff derailed some great promise. He wound down his NHL days with 12 games as a Penguin in 1971-72.
28 - Scoring 28 goals for the Penguins in 1974-75, this former Habs prospect was drafted six spots back of Guy Lafleur in 1971. A lame duck pick if there ever was one, the Habs gave up early on him and sent him Atlanta packing, for a draft pick that became Rick Chartraw. Hey, if that's what the Canadiens really wanted, why then not draft Terry O'Reilly? This player had a son in the NHL up till a year, when work ethic issues similar to the old man found the kid on the outs.
29 - After a stellar sophomore campaign in which this defenseman tallied 12 times, the Canadiens packaged him to St. Louis with Doug Wickenheiser for Perry Turnbull. What a horrible trade all around! Signed in '89 as a FA by the Pens, but long before than he coulda been a contendah!
30 - Traded in 1984 to the Penguins for number 15 on this list, this one time flashy center became an NHL assistant with the Isles a few years gone by.
31 - This former 6' 6'' defender was a bust in Montreal after being a prized draft pick from their backyard in 1974. Traded to the Penguins for a third rounder three years later. Now serves as an NHL player agent, representing the likes of Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo. Nice dinero in that work!
32 - Skillsie! And we got him!
33 - One that still hurts for Montreal, in two ways. Good on the team for acquiring a once 50 goal scorer, bad on them for souring on a player crafty enough to play until age 42. Would still be in Montreal if I had my wish. Was a two-time Penguin, but shame on them for waiving him in 2007. Traded for the next guy on the list, making it a double ouch! Enough clues.
34 - "Marmaduke", as he was known in the day, was never foreseen as a 50 goal threat in Montreal. His prowess alongside of Lindros made a sensible trade into a terrible disaster. Arrived on the Pens scene as a senior citizen and got run over by Crosby.
35 - Habs record holder with an 82 assist season, fell out of favor with Scotty Bowman. Dealt to the Pens for a 50 goal scorer that was also walking a thin line. Biggest trade ever made by the two clubs. Pssst! Kostitsyn for Crosby, anyone!
36 - Acquired by Montreal in the above named deal, which looked to be sheer brilliance until it was learned the guy was only willing to play in one end of the rink. Traded to Hartford four seasons later for what could have been Mario Lemieux, had the Whalers tanked it and finished twenty-first instead of eighteenth.
37 - This player goes all the way back to the Habs five year fifty's dynasty. Spent time on the club for two season before being wrapped in a massive eight player deal to Chicago, where he'd win another Cup in 1961. Was a solid vet by the time he hit Pitt, notching 22 goals in 1967-68. Dealt to the Blues for Lou Angotti the following season.
Fun stuff, huh! I am forgetting someone, someone forgettable. I actually remembered him, but he failed to show up because of a pulled groin in his back, or something like that!