There’s a whole era of Pittsburgh Penguins followers who solely know one period of black-and-yellow hockey.
On Tuesday night time, Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin took the ice to start their 18th season collectively as teammates.
Not solely is that essentially the most seasons by any trio in NHL historical past, nevertheless it’s now the longest tenure of any group of three teammates within the historical past of the 4 North American huge leagues.
Three members of the New York Yankees’ “Core 4” beforehand held the document, as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada suited up in navy blue pinstripes for 17 seasons collectively. Andy Pettitte is the opposite member of the Core 4, however he briefly frolicked with the Houston Astros and retired earlier than a comeback to the large leagues.
Crosby was the primary general number of the 2005 NHL Draft and wasted zero time, making his NHL debut when that season began and notching his first level in that recreation. Crosby, after all, has lived as much as the billing and hype he has obtained, as he’s now a nine-time All-Star and two-time Hart Trophy winner and made the 2010s All-Decade first staff.
Malkin was the second general choose in 2004 and made his NHL debut two years later. He received the Hart Trophy in 2012 and has had seven All-Star nods.
Letang, a six-time All-Star, was the 62nd general choice in 2005, the identical 12 months Crosby was chosen with the highest spot.
Maybe there was a passing of the torch of some type within the recreation. Assembly nose to nose with Crosby at middle ice for the opening face-off was Connor Bedard, who was making his NHL debut.
Bedard was the No. 1 choice on this 12 months’s NHL Draft and has drawn comparisons to Crosby, his childhood hero. Like Crosby, there was little question that Bedard could be taken first general, as he has been thought-about can’t-miss. Additionally like his childhood hero, Bedard recorded an help in his NHL debut. Bedard, 18, was simply 20 days previous when Crosby performed in his first NHL recreation.
The Penguins trio have received three Stanley Cups collectively, together with back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017. Nonetheless, their 18th season kicked off with a loss to Bedard’s Chicago Blackhawks.