Pittsburgh Penguins History: Longest gaps Between Goals

Pittsburgh Penguins, Conor Sheary, (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins, Conor Sheary, (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Conor Sheary scored his first goal for the Penguins, since returning to Pittsburgh after being acquired from Buffalo at the trade deadline against Ottawa on Tuesday night.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have brought back their fair share of players since the franchise’s inception. Whether by free-agency, trade or by coming out of retirement, a return to the team is not out of the ordinary.

Sheary’s first-period goal scored against Ottawa was not only his first goal back with Pittsburgh, but it also marked his first goal for Pittsburgh in nearly 700 days.

In the spirit of Sheary’s marker, here’s a quick look back at some other players that had some huge gaps between goals for the Penguins.

Not So Long

Martin Straka

Straka spent 10 years and scored 165 goals in 560 games during his two-stints with Pittsburgh.

Straka’s final goal prior to being traded to the Ottawa Senators was on Mar. 24, 1995, in a 5-2 Pittsburgh win vs. New Jersey.

The Penguins resigned Straka on Aug. 6, 1997, and he scored his first goal for the Penguins in the third game of the season vs. Florida, on Oct. 4, 1997.  That is a span of 559 days between goals.

Hall of Fame Bound

Mario Lemieux

You can’t blame Lemieux for packing it in at the conclusion of the 1997 season. Father time had caught up with the hockey hall-of-fame member and a few seasons in cryostasis was just the doctored ordered to reboot the perennial superstar.

Lemieux scored his final regular-season goal on Apr. 11, 1997 vs. Florida, and returned to the game in relatively short order once he made his intentions known to the hockey world, approximately 3.7 years from when he retired.

Lemieux wasted little time in getting back work, he scored in his return on Dec. 27, 2000, vs. Toronto.

Mark Recchi

Recchi spent parts of 7 seasons from 1988-2008 in a Penguins uniform. Overall he scored 154 goals in 389 games with Pittsburgh.

His last goal with the Penguins, prior to being traded to Philadelphia was on Feb. 8, 1992, vs. Los Angeles. One work stoppage and13 years, 7 months, 27 days would pass before he scored his return goal, which occurred on Oct. 5, 2005, vs. New Jersey.

Longtime Coming

Alex Kovalev

Kovalev scored 151 goals in 351 games with the Penguins, with his last goal with the club prior to being traded to New York, being scored on Feb. 8, 2003.

Eight years and 18 days would pass before he scored a goal in his second tenure with Pittsburgh. Kovalev was acquired from the Ottawa Senators and collected the goal on Feb. 26, 2011, in a game vs. Toronto.

Richard Park

Richard Park’s stretch of nearly 16 years between goals with the same club, could possibly be a league record.

Park’s final goal with Pittsburgh, prior to his trade to Anaheim in 1997, occurred on Dec. 28, 1995, vs. Hartford.

In an impressive showing Park, scored a short-handed goal in his first game back with Pittsburgh on Oct. 11, 2011. Culmativley Park scored 11 goals in 112 games with Pittsburgh.