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How the Penguins were built

Recalling Jake Guentzel, trading for Ron Hainsey helped Pittsburgh return to Stanley Cup Final

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Staff Writer

The Pittsburgh Penguins have reached the Stanley Cup Final for the second-straight season and fourth time in the past decade. With a strong organizational blueprint, they continue to navigate the NHL salary cap and yield elite performance.

The Penguins have their usual star power, led by forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, and goalies Matt Murray and Marc-Andre Fleury. Their roster closely resembles their 2016 Stanley Cup championship team, but rookie Jake Guentzel and the trade for veteran defenseman Ron Hainsey have helped them overcome injuries to Kris Letang and Patric Hornqvist, among others.

Here's how the roster of this Stanley Cup finalist was built, along with background on their coaches and general manager:

 

FORWARDS

Josh Archibald, RW: Selected with the No. 174 pick (sixth round) in the 2011 NHL Draft. Archibald made his NHL debut with the Penguins on March 5, 2016, and has played 10 regular-season games and three Stanley Cup Playoff games this season.

Nick Bonino, C: Acquired from the Vancouver Canucks with defenseman Adam Clendening and a second-round pick in the 2016 draft for center Brandon Sutter and a 2016 third-round pick on July 28, 2015. This is his second season with the Penguins after one season with the Canucks and five with the Anaheim Ducks. He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016.

Sidney Crosby, C: Selected with the first pick in the 2005 draft. This is his fourth appearance in the Stanley Cup Final with the Penguins (won championships in 2009, 2016). He won the Hart Trophy in 2006-07 and 2013-14. Crosby was named Penguins captain on May 31, 2007. He leads active players in career points per game (1.31) and made the list of 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian on Jan. 27.

Video: OTT@PIT, Gm5: Crosby tips in Daley's shot for PPG

Matt Cullen, C: Signed one-year contract to remain with Penguins on Aug. 17. Cullen, Pittsburgh's oldest player (40), is in his second season with Pittsburgh and has also played with the Ducks, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators in his 19 NHL seasons. He won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006 and Penguins in 2016.

Jake Guentzel, LW: Selected with the No. 77 pick (third round) in the 2013 draft. Guentzel made his NHL debut with the Penguins on Nov. 21 and scored two goals, including one on his first career shot on goal. Guentzel, the Penguins' youngest player (22), leads them in goals (nine) this postseason.

Carl Hagelin, LW: Acquired from the Ducks for forward David Perron and Clendening on Jan. 16, 2016. He played four NHL seasons with the New York Rangers and 43 games with the Ducks last season before joining the Penguins. Hagelin won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016.

Video: PIT@WSH, Gm5: Hagelin beats Holtby with a wrister

Patric Hornqvist, RW: Acquired from the Nashville Predators with forward Nick Spaling for forward James Neal on June 27, 2014. This is his third season with the Penguins. The Sweden native played his first six NHL seasons with the Predators. Hornqvist, who has missed the past six games because of an upper-body injury, won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016.

Phil Kessel, RW: Acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a trade involving six players and draft picks on July 1, 2015. He is in his second season with the Penguins after spending six seasons with the Maple Leafs and three with the Bruins. Kessel led Pittsburgh in scoring (22 points in 24 games) during their run to the Stanley Cup in 2016.

Video: OTT@PIT, Gm5: Kessel nets Crosby's dish for PPG

Tom Kuhnhackl, RW: Selected with the No. 110 pick (fourth round) in the 2010 draft. The Germany native made his NHL debut with the Penguins on Jan. 9, 2016. He has played 99 regular-season games and 35 postseason games in two NHL seasons. Khunhackl, who has missed the past eight games because of a lower-body injury, won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016.

Chris Kunitz, LW: Acquired from the Ducks with forward Eric Tangradi for defenseman Ryan Whitney on Feb. 26, 2009. Kunitz, an alternate captain, spent parts of five NHL seasons in Anaheim and also had a two-game stint with the Atlanta Thrashers in 2005-06. He's in his ninth season with the Penguins and has won the Stanley Cup three times, once with the Ducks in 2007 and twice with the Penguins in 2009 and 2016.

Evgeni Malkin, C: Selected with the second pick in the 2004 draft. The Russia native won the Calder Trophy in 2006-07 and Hart Trophy in 2012. This is his fourth appearance in the Stanley Cup Final with the Penguins (won championships in 2009, 2016). Malkin, an alternate captain, leads the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) in 19 games.

Video: OTT@PIT, Gm1: Malkin ties game with tip-in goal

Carter Rowney, RW: Signed a two-year contract as an undrafted free agent on March 9, 2016. Rowney made his NHL debut at 27 with the Penguins on Jan. 30. He played 27 games in the regular season and has played 14 this postseason.

Bryan Rust, RW: Selected with the No. 80 pick (third round) in the 2010 draft, he made his NHL debut Dec. 13, 2014. He has played a total of 112 regular-season games since 2014-15 and 40 playoff games in the past two postseasons. Rust won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016.

Video: OTT@PIT, Gm5: Rust extends lead on a redirection

Conor Sheary, LW: Signed a two-year contract as an undrafted free agent July 1, 2015. Sheary made his NHL debut Dec. 16, 2015. He has played a total of 105 regular-season games and 39 playoff games in two NHL seasons and won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016.

Scott Wilson, LW: Selected with the No. 209 pick (seventh round) in the 2011 draft. Wilson has played a total of 103 regular-season games and 18 playoff games over three NHL seasons with the Penguins, but did not play in the 2016 postseason because of a lower-body injury.

 

DEFENSEMEN

Ian Cole: Acquired from the St. Louis Blues for defenseman Robert Bortuzzo and a seventh-round pick in the 2016 draft on March 2, 2015. Cole played parts of five seasons with the Blues before joining the Penguins. He won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2016.

Trevor Daley: Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks for defenseman Rob Scuderi on Dec. 14, 2015. He played 11 seasons with the Dallas Stars and 29 games with the Blackhawks in 2015-16 before joining the Penguins. He won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2016.

Video: OTT@PIT, Gm5: Daley nets PPG on blistering slap shot

Brian Dumoulin: Acquired from the Hurricanes with Sutter and a first-round pick in the 2012 draft for forward Jordan Staal on June 22, 2012. Dumoulin won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016.

Ron Hainsey: Acquired from the Hurricanes for a second-round pick in 2017 draft and forward Danny Kristo on Feb. 23. Hainsey was selected by the Montreal Canadiens with the No. 13 pick in the 2000 draft. He is in his 14th NHL season and played for the Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets, Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets and Hurricanes before joining Pittsburgh.

Kris Letang: Selected with the No. 62 pick (third round) in the 2005 draft. He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009 and 2016 and also played in the 2008 Stanley Cup Final. He ranks second among active defensemen (minimum 230 regular-season games) in career points per game (0.64) behind Erik Karlsson of the Senators (0.82). He played 41 games this regular season but has been ruled out for the playoffs because of neck surgery.

Olli Maatta : Selected with the 22nd pick in the 2012 draft. Maatta, 22, has played 220 regular-season games and 50 playoff games in his four seasons with the Penguins. The Finland native won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016.

Video: OTT@PIT, Gm5: Maatta blasts one-timer past Anderson

Chad Ruhwedel: Signed a one-year contract with Pittsburgh on July 1, 2016. He played a total of 33 games over four NHL seasons with the Buffalo Sabres before playing 34 games this regular season and six this postseason with the Penguins. He has missed the past three games with a concussion.

Justin Schultz: Acquired from the Edmonton Oilers for a third-round pick in the 2016 draft on Feb. 28, 2016. He played three-plus seasons with Edmonton before joining Pittsburgh. He won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2016.

Mark Streit: Acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning after two trades on March 1. The Switzerland native has played a total of 11 NHL seasons with the Canadiens, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Penguins.

 

GOALTENDERS

Marc-Andre Fleury: Selected with the first pick of the 2003 draft. This is his 13th season with Pittsburgh. He is the Penguins' all-time wins leader in the regular season (375) and playoffs (62). He played a key role in Pittsburgh's Stanley Cup title with 16 playoff wins in 2009 and also won the championship as Matt Murray's backup in 2016. Fleury has a .924 save percentage and two shutouts in 15 games this postseason.

Video: OTT@PIT, Gm2: Fleury stretches to deny Stone with pad

Matt Murray: Selected with the No. 83 pick (third round) in the 2012 draft. He made his NHL debut Dec. 19, 2015. He had 15 wins during the 2016 postseason, helping the Penguins win the Stanley Cup. Murray has a .946 SV% and one shutout in five games this postseason, and has started the past four games.

Video: OTT@PIT, Gm7: Murray turns aside Methot and Ryan

 

COACHES

Mike Sullivan, coach: Named coach Dec. 12, 2015, replacing Mike Johnston. He played 11 NHL seasons and coached the Bruins in 2003-04 and 2005-06. He was also an assistant coach with the Bruins, Lightning, Rangers and Canucks prior to joining the Penguins. Sullivan led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup in 2016.

Rick Tocchet, assistant: Hired on June 25, 2014. Tocchet coached the Lightning from 2008-10. He has won the Stanley Cup twice with the Penguins; once as a player (1992) and once as a coach (2016). He played in the NHL from 1984-2002.

Jacques Martin, assistant: Hired on Aug. 9, 2013. Martin coached the Blues (1986-88), Senators (1995-2004), Florida Panthers (2005-08) and Canadiens (2009-12). He also was Florida's general manager from 2006-09. He won his first Stanley Cup title in 2016.

Mike Bales, goaltending coach: Hired Aug. 19, 2013. Bales spent the prior two years as Pittsburgh's goaltender development coach. He played a total of 23 NHL games as a goalie for the Boston Bruins and Senators. He won his first Stanley Cup title in 2016.

 

GENERAL MANAGER

Jim Rutherford: Hired on June 6, 2014, replacing Ray Shero. Rutherford was the Hartford Whalers/Hurricanes GM for 20 years prior to joining the Penguins. He won the Stanley Cup in 2006 with the Hurricanes and 2016 with the Penguins.

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