The Penguins have many players going on to legendary careers, which means any game or goal that sets some kind of record or hits a good innings count can be very important. Here are some top hits that could happen in Pittsburgh next season.
Entering his 17th NHL season, Malkin should finally reach his 1,000th career game this year, possibly like Nov. 20 in Chicago if he plays in the first 19 games of the campaign. Malkin should get close to 1,200 career points this year as well. Malkin is fourth among active players in total points (Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane). But a 1,000-game Silver Cane ceremony would be a major milestone as Malkin remains on track to become the only player in Penguins franchise history (behind Crosby) to suit up for 1,000 games.
Crosby is on track to become the 20th player in NHL history to record 900 career assists. With health (knock on all wood) and a good year, Sid could have a shot at hitting 1,500 points this season. Crosby and Ovechkin (1,410 points, one point over Crosby currently) continue to jockey back and forth for top active scorer, Sid’s points/game rate is much higher, but not his ability to show up in games.
Barring an accident, Malkin won’t be the only Penguin to have his 1,000th game this season, with Letang looking to join him later in the year to become the third player in franchise history to play in 1,000 games with the Pens. Letang, who ranks 32nd all-time in NHL scoring among defensemen, is poised to become the 27th defenseman in history to hit the 700-point mark this season (or 28th if Erik Karlsson hits it, but you get the idea).
Through 36 games this season, Dumoulin will become just the fifth defenseman to reach 500 career games with the Penguins – Letang, Brooks Orpik, Ron Stackhouse, Dave Burrows are the others.
Carter is eighth among active players in total games played (behind Ryan Sutter, Ovechkin, Brent Burns, Patrice Bergeron, Anze Kopitar, Phil Kessel and Corey Perry). Carter will become the 122nd player in NHL history to reach 1,200 hits in 30 more games this season.
Guentzel is a rung or two below his older teammates, but with a possible 200-goal, 200-assist mark of course, as well as 400+ points in 2022-23, he could very well reach the next level. Also on Guentzel’s radar is the possibility that Jake will move into eighth place on the franchise’s all-time goals list, passing all of Ron Francis (164), Martin Straka (165), Chris Kunitz (169) and Mike Bullard (185). this year.
Like Guentzel, Rakell should reach the 200-assist and 400-point mark as he reaches his 600th NHL game this season, and the veteran has completed his first full season in Pittsburgh.
If Rust plays in 76 games this year and reaches his 500th career game this season, it would be a huge milestone for the Pens. Reaching 300 career points is more likely and another milestone on the journey to a successful career for Rusty.
Jerry should be in triple digits for his career this season. He could also move past Ken Reigate (104) and Matt Murray (117) into third all-time as a goalie for the Penguins. Jarry is one shutout short of third in that category, behind the same two long-time starters.
Fleury is currently tied with Patrick Roy (551) for 31 wins. The Minnesota Wild play at Pittsburgh on April 6. So while it’s far from certain, there’s an outside chance that Fleury could look to match or pass Roy where he’s played most of his career. If all the stars aligned, wouldn’t that be an amazing (and very fitting) story? It’s something to keep an eye on as the year progresses and wait to see if something special like this can come up.