-Today would have been the 71st birthday of former Penguins forward Nick Harbaruk (right). Claimed from the Vancouver Canucks of the WHL in a 1969 intra-league draft, Harbaruk spent four seasons in Pittsburgh. Harbaruk, who at one time was one of four players in the NHL with a college degree, appeared in 74 games during his first NHL season of 1969-70 and scored 22 points. He played in 10 postseason games that spring and scored three goals, including the winning goal in a 2-1 win against the Oakland Seals in Game 1 of a quarterfinal series, the first postseason contest in franchise history. In 1970-71, Harbaruk appeared in all 78 games and contributed 25 points. He followed that up in 1971-72 by once against playing in all 78 games and scored a career-best 29 points. In four postseason games that spring, he recorded one assist. His final season in Pittsburgh was 1972-73. He once again played in 78 games and contributed 25 points. Just prior to the 1973-74 season, Harbaruk was traded to the Blues in exchange for goaltender Bob Johnson. One of eight NHL players from Poland, Harbaruk appeared in 308 regular season games for the Penguins and scored 101 points, 84th-most in franchise history. During that time, he appeared in 276 consecutive games, third-most in franchise history. In 14 postseason games, he scored four points. Harbaruk passed away Nov. 11, 2011 at the age of 67.
-Happy 48th birthday to former Penguins forward/broadcaster/coach Ed Olczyk. The third overall pick in the 1984 draft, Olczyk joined the Penguins at the trade deadline in 1996-97 when he was acquired from the Kings in exchange for forward Glen Murray. In 12 regular season games that campain, he scored 11 points. He appeared in five postseason games that spring and scored one goal. He followed that up in 1997-98 by playing in 56 games and scored 22 points. During that season's playoffs, he played in six games and scored two goals. In the 1998 postseason, he joined the Blackhawks as a free agent. After retiring in 2000, Olczyk re-joined the Penguins as a television broadcaster. He held that position until 2003 when he became the team's head coach. In 2003-04, Olczyk directed the club to a record of 23-47-8-4, one of the worst marks in franchise history. Following the 2004-05 lockout, Olczyk led the team to an 8-17-6 record before being fired. In 113 games as head coach, Olczyk had a record of 31-64-8-10. A member of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, he is currently a broadcaster with the Blackhawks as well as NBC.
(Photo: Penguins Hockey Cards)