Ever since the 1991 Stanley Cup victory I fell in love with the Pittsburgh Penguins. I remember the exact night like a bad beginning to a romance novel.
My grandparents on my mom's side took me to see the Pirates for my birthday. I was still amped with my new Orioles hat (which I still have) and I was completely unaware of the Penguins, hockey, or even the fact that we were in the Finals. Our parents always thought ALL sports were stupid; therefor banned from the house.
We were stick in traffic leaving the Pirate game due to the Penguins game letting out the same time, people were so happy. It wasn't the type of manic rioting you see in Montreal, but genuine happiness. My grandpa rolled down the windows in the car, and let in the noxious monoxide filled night air, and honked victoriously. I asked what happened, and he replied "Our boys did it."
I asked genuinely, "Did what?"
My Grandpa smiled at me like only he could with compassion, and said"We won Stanley's Cup!"
I replied like a true 11 year old, "Does that mean we are the best?"
My Grandpa laughed and told me,"Yes, it does."
I felt so much pride, and a sense of communal joy that night I was a fan ever since. From that day on I have followed almost every single game from then on.
I think as Penguins fans we have been so spoiled with the level of talent that has come to play for our city, and we have all been apart of historical moment after historical moment, but there was always one thing I absolutely loved about hockey; the fighting. I used to check the Sunday paper and read the stat lines like a bible, to see who I would think would fight eachother for the weeks line up of games. I used to circle the top PIM guys and predict who would come out on top.
This is a list of my favorite, and maybe the best fighters the Penguins have ever had dress in the black and gold. There are some that have had a short but memorable stay with the Penguins, and I thought I would include them anyways.