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9 Pens Named to '100 Greatest NHL Players' List

The list features Lemieux, Crosby and Jagr among others

by Pittsburgh Penguins @Penguins / Media Release

The National Hockey League celebrated its centennial season by unveiling the final 67 members of its 100 Greatest NHL Players on Friday night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles as part of NHL All-Star Weekend.

Co-owner Mario Lemieux and captain Sidney Crosby headlined seven Penguins players named on Friday, as they were joined by Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, Paul Coffey, Bryan Trottier and Luc Robitaille.

Earlier this month, Andy Bathgate and Tim Horton were named when the pre-1967 100 Greatest NHL Players were announced at the 2017 Centennial Classic.

All six retired Penguins named on Friday rank among the highest scorers in the game's history, with Jagr (2nd; 1,897 points), Francis (5th; 1,798 points) and Lemieux (8th; 1,723) all in the top-10 all-time.

Coffey (13th; 1,531), Trottier (16th; 1,425) and Robitaille (21st (1,394) sit not far behind them.

Crosby was the lone active Penguins player named, and based upon his current career point per game average (1.33), which sits fifth in NHL history behind only Wayne Gretzky (1.92), Lemieux (1.88), Mike Bossy (1.50) and Bobby Orr (1.39), it won't be long before the current Pittsburgh captain finds his name at the top of the charts.

Lemieux, Crosby, Jagr, Francis and Trottier all won a pair of Stanley Cups as Penguins. Coffey was a member of Pittsburgh's first Cup triumph in 1991.

During their careers, Lemieux, Crosby and Jagr not only compiled impressive numbers on the ice, but at various points each was instrumental in helping ensure that the franchise stayed entrenched in Pittsburgh during periods of off-ice hardships.

All three rank atop the team's all-time leaders in goals, assists and points both during the regular season and in the playoffs. 

Francis, who split his playing career between the Penguins and the Carolina/Hartford franchise, enjoyed his best offensive seasons in Pittsburgh, including a career year centering Lemieux and Jagr in 1995-96 when Francis tied Lemieux for the NHL lead with 92 assists.

Coffey's acquisition in 1988 supplied Lemieux with a complementary star capable of taking the franchise to a championship level. He made the All-Star Team all five years he was in Pittsburgh, and he is the team' all-time leading scorer among defensemen.

Trottier wrapped up his Hall of Fame career as a checking-line center behind Lemieux and Francis on the back-to-back Cup teams in '91 and '92, instilling veteran leadership that included helping Jagr assimilate to North America during his formative years. 

Robitaille spent just one lockout-shortened season in Pittsburgh in 1994-95, spending a lot of time that year on a line with Jagr and Francis. During the playoffs, Robitaille scored several big goals to help the Penguins overcome a 3-1 series hole to the Washington Capitals in the first round.

Bathgate was an original Penguin who scored the team's first-ever goal and led the inaugural club in scoring, before returning in 1970-71 to conclude his Hall of Fame career.

Horton, one of the toughest defensemen to play against in his own end in his heyday, spent the 1971-72 season with the Penguins. He started the famous Tim Horton doughnut chain.

The 100 Greatest NHL Players will be honored again as part of the pre-game ceremony prior to Sunday's NHL All-Star Game at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

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