P-Lab’s All-Blue Collar Team


The Pens recently released its All-Time Team, which featured just about every black-and-gold legend from days gone by. You can find the story here on the Pens site. Every player is a no-brainer; there’s no arguing any of the selections.

So, I decided to come up with my own all-time squad – one that’s totally subjective and will cause plenty of arguing and/or debate. The criteria? There really was none, but I tried to pick players that had over 200 games with the Pens – no one-season wonders. Really, this is just a lineup of guys I enjoyed watching play in Pittsburgh; not because of their talent or stats, but because of their work ethic, heart and toughness. So, without further ado, here’s Pens Labyrinth’s All-Blue Collar Team.

Chris Tamer: The University of Michigan product played 253 games for the Pens over parts of 6 seasons. Tamer certainly wasn’t the most skilled blueliner (I can remember cursing him out many a time), but he was a physical presence and he was willing to fight just about anybody, including a knockdown win over Bob Probert. He picked up 588 penalty minutes with the Pens.

Ian Moran: For some reason, I always liked this guy. Maybe it’s because he was from Ohio (kind of local). Anyway, Moran played 433 games over parts of 8 seasons for the Pens. I think he played every position but goalie, and he scored 19 goals. He also had an all-time classic fight with Darby Hendrickson that really won me over. Moran was a guy that had to work his ass off to get a job in the NHL, then had to work harder to stay there. You have to respect that.

Tyler Wright: The diminutive center played in 238 games over parts of 4 seasons. His in-your-face, balls-out style immediately made him a fan favorite. Wright amassed 317 penalty minutes in a Pens uniform. He also had 22 points in 50 games in the 99-00 campaign. But Wright was one of those guys that made it his job to get under opponents’ skin, and he did it well.

Phil Bourque: A team such as this without the ole two-niner would be blasphemy. Bourque played 344 games over parts of 8 seasons and scored 75 goals. He was an integral part of the two Cup winners in the early 90s. He could play wing and defense. He could kill penalties. His beard and hair were awesome. I could go on, but the thing with Bourque was that he was a rough-and-tough player (435 PMs) that could contribute offensively (he once had back-to-back 20-goal seasons). And who could forget this?

Max Talbot: There’s a bunch of guys I could choose for the last spot (Troy Loney, Bob Errey), but I wanted to get one current player on the team and limit it to one current broadcaster. Despite being an offensive force in juniors, Talbot’s as blue collar as they come in today’s NHL. He can play on a top line with skilled players, and he can also grind it out on the third or fourth lines. He can hit, he can kill penalties and, as we all know, he can drop the gloves if necessary. More importanly, he can also score a big goal when needed. Talbot has 44 goals and 258 penalty minutes in 306 games with the Pens. Here’s hoping for a lot more.


Ken Wregget: He had some pretty good years with the Pens in the mid-90s (after earning a Cup ring as a backup in ’92), winning 66 games over a three-year stretch. Wregget was one of those gritty goaltenders that wasn’t very flashy but somehow managed to get the job done. When he first arrived in Pittsburgh, Wregget wore one of those classic old-school helmets. He later updated to this mask.