The Pittsburgh Penguins trio of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang have been together for nearly two decades of greatness.
Tuesday’s season opener against the Chicago Blackhawks marked the 18th consecutive season they have been teammates, setting a new North American sports record for the longest run of seasons together among a trio of teammates.
The three all first joined forces together during the 2006-07 season when Malkin and Letang first made their NHL debuts, joining Crosby who made his debut one year earlier during the 2005-06 season.
Their run together is now one year longer than what the New York Yankees trio of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada did between 1995 and 2001.
Since the Penguins trio joined forces no team in the NHL has won more regular season games, or playoff games and scored more goals than them. They have also played in more Stanley Cup Finals (four) and won more Stanley Cups (three) than any other team in the league.
The Penguins have also made the playoffs in all but one of those seasons, qualifying in 16 consecutive seasons before missing by one point in the 2022-23 season.
Their record-setting night, however, did not end in a positive light for the Penguins.
They blew a two-goal lead and ended up losing by a 4-2 margin to the Blackhawks.
The Penguins trio added another future Hall of Famer this offseason in defenseman Erik Karlsson. That addition has raised expectations for the Penguins going into the season and will make the playoffs a bare minimum expectation. They may not be a top-tier Stanley Cup contender the way they were at the peak of Crosby, Malkin and Letang, but their window should still be open for at least another couple of years.
Given the contracts for that trio, it is not a stretch to think they will end up reaching 20 years together.