The Pittsburgh Penguins are clearly a veteran team that depends on Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang for leadership, scoring and all-around play. That trio opened their 17th season together Thursday night as the Penguins took the ice for their season opener against the Arizona Coyotes.

Only one other team in North American major professional team has had three teammates who have played together for 17 season. New York Yankees teammates Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada played together from 1995 through 2011.

Crosby, Malkin and Letang have played together since the 2007-08 season and they have won the Stanley Cup three times. They earned championships in 2009, 2016 and 2017. The Yankees trio won World Series titles in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009.

The three Penguins have contributed mightily to the franchise’s many achievements. They have combined to play 3,030 games, score 1,105 goals, tally 3,200 points and win 103 playoff games  as the 2022-23 season gets underway.

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While the accomplishments have been notable, there were strong indications that the trio’s streak would come to an end at the conclusion of last season. Malkin was a free agent this summer, and he did not sign a new contract until July 12.

Malkin put his signature on a four-year, $24.4 million deal, and that contract includes a cap hit of $6.1 million in each of the four season through 2025-26.

The 36-year-old Malkin has 1,146 points in 981 career regular-season games, and 180 points in 177 playoff games.

Sidney Crosby, 35, has a base salary of $3 million this season and carries a cap hit of $8.7 million. Letang, 35, has a base salary of $4 million and a cap hit of $6.1 million.