Pens All-America Team by @Nick422

It's the 4th of July.  Sorry Candidia, it's America's time to shine!  And to celebrate the birth of the greatest nation ever* we'll take a look at the best of the Red, White and Blue to suit up for your Pittsburgh Penguins.



*your mileage may vary



Forwards:



LW- Kevin Stevens

C- Ed Olcyzk

RW- Bill Guerin

Cup winners galore top out the top line for the Pens All American team.  Most of these Pens were instrumental to each time the Pens have lifted Lord Stanley and should be or are in the USA Hockey Hall of Fame.  God Bless America!  Just don't ask Edzo to coach.  Ever.  Please.




LW- Ryan Malone

C- Joe Mullen

RW- John LeClaire

Pittsburgh native Malone makes the list despite falling short in the Cup chase.  Mullen spent scant time with the Pens but won a Cup.  John LeClaire (LW) makes the team with his year of service playing on the off wing because frankly the pickings were slim at right wing for skilled forwards.  And Joe Mullen is out of position because the Pens are even more thin at Center.  But hey... Murica!  Freedom!  Suck it!




LW- Phil Bourque

C- Brandon Sutter

RW- Richard Park

An energy line full of energy, whether on the ice or in the booth, these guys will shut down the opposition, chip in a few goals, and make life hell on ice for the other team as they try their best to get past this trio to even get a shot on goal.




LW- Mike Rupp

C- Kip Miller

RW- Dan Lacouture

Don't anticipate a lot of goals coming from this group, but anticipate a lot of black and blue marks for the opposition.  Fights, hits, scrums, agitation and annoyance are the order of the day when these three hop over the boards and get going.

Defense: 


D- Brooks Orpik

D- Kevin Hatcher

Hits, body blows, and The Shift.  Kevin Hatcher spent a small amount of time with the Pens but his impact was huge.  A huge part of the power play, he could play two ways with the best of them.  Add in Orpik's ability to throw the body and cover and this is a top all time pairing no matter your country.  The recently departed Orpik may be a traitor like Benedict Arnold but the Pens got the best of him.  They win, really.




D- Paul Martin

D- Ryan Whitney

A little skill to run the second line.  Paul Martin has rounded into form and has recovered well from injuries showing a solid shot from the point, a mind for the game and a good break out pass.  Combined with Whitney's shot and offensive ability this is a potent offensive combo on the blue line.



D- Hal Gill

D- Matt Niskanen

A nice mix of big body and skill from Niskanen and Gill, both can be played at even strength and compliment each other.  While Gill will lay the body and play on the PK, Niskanen will run the break out and play some power play time.  Once again, Niskanen has left our ranks for the enemy but we'll consider it an effort to sabotage from within and keep him on the list.


Goalies:



G- Tom Barrasso

G- Brent Johnson

A Hall of Famer with two Cups to his name and a legacy goaltender who will always be known for one thing despite his solid play for the black and gold.  A nearly unstoppable duo in their prime and a history of victory.  Seriously.  If you try to stop them they'd probably both light you up.

Staff:



Head Coach- Herb Brooks
Assistant Coach- Bob Johnson
Assistant Coach- Dan Bylsma

It only makes sense that the three coaches who coached Team USA in the Olympics (Brooks in '80, Johnson in '76, and Bylsma in '14) are the three coaches the All America Team turns to.  Plus with a combined record of  and two Stanley Cups as coaches it's hard to argue this trio.  I mean it's not like Bylsma is doing anything these days anyway.  Getting paid to do nothing?  That's the American dream!



General Manager- Craig Patrick
Assistant GM- Ray Shero

Two generational talents as GM, three Cup wins.  Really no argument here.  Both are heavily involved or have been in heavily involved in USA Hockey?  Just adds to the reason these two are running the Penguins All American team.  Even as both have moved on they will always be the great American Pens GMs.  Sorry Jim Rutherford, you've got some ways to go.

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Nicholas Case is the owner of caseandpointsports.com.  He can be found on Twitter at twitter.com/Nick422 and he always enjoys hearing from you.  Yes you.  You can reach him at nick@pensinitiative.com
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