The Pittsburgh Penguins have spent the latter half of this decade as one of the premier franchises in the National Hockey League. This point was illustrated when two of the stars who helped the team capture the 2009 Stanley Cup championship, forward Sidney Crosby
and defenseman Sergei Gonchar, were recognized by NHL.com in their All-Decade Team.
Chosen as the center on the Second-Team, Crosby was drafted by the Penguins with the No. 1-overall selection in the 2005 NHL Draft. He has rewritten the record book numerous times during his first five seasons. He became the youngest player to record 100 points (102) during his rookie campaign and followed that up by becoming the youngest scoring champion in 2006-07 when he registered 120 points (36G-84A).
That May Crosby became the youngest captain in league history and then this past June he was the youngest captain to lead his team to a Stanley Cup championship when the Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings in seven games. In 326 career games Crosby has 440 points (154G-286A), tying him with Paul Coffey for 9th place on the team’s all-time scoring list at age 22.
Gonchar was an Honorable Mention selection on defense after being one of the highest-scoring defensmen of the decade. In 285 games since arriving in Pittsburgh as a free agent prior to the 2005-06 season Gonchar has posted 47 goals and 181 assists while serving as an alternate captain for much of his tenure. He led all defensemen with 26 goals in ’01-02 when he played for the Washington Capitals.
Right wing Jaromir Jagr, who spent the 2000-01 season with Pittsburgh before being traded to Washington, joined Crosby on the Second-Team. During his lone season with Pittsburgh this decade Jagr led the NHL with 121 points (52G-69A). Jagr served as the Penguins’ captain as Pittsburgh reached the Eastern Conference Finals before falling to the New Jersey Devils.
to read NHL.com’s story on the All-Decade Team.