Evgeni Malkin makes Penguins history, but not the kind you’d think

Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin #71. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin #71. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Evgeni Malkin is one of the best players in Pittsburgh Penguins history. As such, he is near the top of the team’s leaderboard in a lot of categories.

On Saturday against the Florida Panthers, Malkin put his name at the top of another category, though it wasn’t one that most fans would expect.

Now, Penguins fans know that Geno can sometimes lose his cool or take an ill-advised penalty between his highlights, but even they may not have expected Malkin to become the Penguins’ all-time leader in penalty minutes.

Evgeni Malkin tied the Penguins record for all-time penalty minutes.

That’s right, one of the most talented, prolific offensive weapons to ever put on a Penguins sweater is now also the most penalized player in the history of the franchise.

With 1,048 penalty minutes, Malkin is tied with Kevin Stevens, a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Pens in the 1990s.

Malkin and Stevens are the only two players in Pittsburgh history with more than 1,000 career penalty minutes. Geno’s single-season highwater mark came in the 2009-2010 season when he racked up 100 minutes in penalties. This season, he has 40 penalty minutes through 62 games.

Stevens was known for his physicality during his playing days, eclipsing 100 penalty minutes in six of his seasons in the NHL. The most he recorded in an individual season was 254 in the 1991-1992 season. He also set a career-high in points that year with 123 (54 goals and 69 assists).

Malkin, at age 36, is now a veteran of 1,043 NHL games, so he has managed to maintain a penalty minute-per-game average while also scoring 1,209 points (467 goals and 742 assists). A three-time Stanley Cup champion, he has spent his entire Hall of Fame career in Pittsburgh.

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Given the elite level at which Malkin has played since entering the league in 2006, the Penguins and their fans have rarely batted an eye at the high volume of penalty minutes he has compiled. Now, he’s got more time in than box than any other player to wear the black and gold.