Sergei Zubov, who skated for the Penguins during the 1995-96 season, was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame this afternoon along with Penguins' executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford. He became the 18th player or builder with ties to the Penguins to be selected for enshrinement.
A native of Moscow, Russia, Zubov played 16 NHL seasons from 1992-93 until 2008-09, bookending his one-year stint in Pittsburgh with stops with the New York Rangers (1992-95) and Dallas Stars (1996-2009). The smooth-skating blueliner wrapped up his career with 771 points (152G-619A) in 1,068 regular-season contests and another 117 points (24G-93A) in 164 playoff games. He won Stanley Cup championships with the Rangers in 1994 and the Stars in 1999. Only current Penguins assistant coach Sergei Gonchar has more points (811) among Russian-born defensemen all-time.
Zubov's lone campaign in Pittsburgh marked one of the top regular seasons of the Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr Era. Pittsburgh not only won the Northeast Division with 102 points, the fourth-most in the NHL, but the Penguins scored a league-high 362 goals, the second-highest single-season total in club history. Pittsburgh also led the league with a 26-percent power-play conversion rate, which stood as a club record until 2017-18. During the '95-96 regular season, Zubov tallied 11 goals, 55 assists and 66 points with a plus-28 in 64 games.
Zubov was a playoff stalwart that year, contributing 15 points (1G-14A) in 18 games as the Pens came within one game of making it to the Stanley Cup Final before being eliminated by the Florida Panthers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. Zubov, who led all NHL defensemen in assists that spring, enjoyed arguably his best game in a Pittsburgh jersey during the Pens' 3-2 four-overtime win in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals when he assisted Petr Nedved's game-winning and game-tying goals, in addition to logging major minutes in the second-longest game played in club history.
Internationally, Zubov won a gold medal with the Unified Team at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games and a gold medal for the Soviet Union in the 1989 World Junior Championship. Zubov completed his professional career with SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in 2010-11.