Pittsburgh Penguins: A Look Back at 2014

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3. Scary health issues

Dec 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta (3) at the face-off circle against the Calgary Flames during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

While 2014 saw some Penguins triumph via personal accolades or international medals, it was also a year of serious health scares for a few of the Pens’ key players.

The first came in February when defenseman Kris Letang suffered a stroke, taking him out of action for an extended period of time and calling his career into question. The former Norris Trophy nominee was able to recover fully and return to doing what he does best – leading the Pens’ march from the blue line.

Pittsburgh’s second health scare came at the start of this season, when fans were told Olli Maatta would undergo surgery to remove a tumor on his thyroid that could possibly be cancerous. Eventually finding out that the tumor was indeed cancerous, Maatta emerged from the situation stronger than before after a successful surgery and quick recovery period.

The Pens’ health crises continued recently when Pascal Dupuis was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lung, sidelining him for, at the very least, six months. The veteran winger remains out while he recovers from the condition, but hopes to make a full recovery.