-Happy 65th birthday to former Penguins all-star defenseman Ron Stackhouse (right). Acquired midway through the 1973-74 season along with Jim Rutherford in a deal which sent Jack Lynch to the Red Wings, Stackhouse, one of the best defensemen in franchise history, spent parts of nine seasons with the Penguins. He finished 1973-74 by appearing in 36 games for the Penguins and recording 19 points. In 1974-75, Stackhouse appeared in 72 games and led all Penguins defensemen with 60 points. He also set a mark which remains a franchise record by recording six assists in an 8-2 win against the rival Flyers, March 8, 1975. In the postseason, he played in all nine of the team's games and netted eight points. Stackhouse set career-highs in 1975-76 in games (80), assists (60) and points (71). His points were a single-season franchise record for defensemen at the time. In three postseason games that spring, he failed to record a point. Stackhouse once again appeared in all 80 of the Penguins' games in 1976-77 but saw his production tumble to 41 points. He produced three points in three playoff games that season. Stackhouse's numbers continued to fall during the 1977-78 season as he was limited to 50 games and 20 points. He rebounded somewhat in 1978-79 by playing in 75 games and scoring 43 points. He was held without a point in seven playoff games that spring. In 1979-80, Stackhouse played in 78 games, recorded 33 points and was selected to his only all-star game. He scored one goal in five playoff games that season. He would appear in 74 games in 1980-81 and recorded 35 points. In the playoffs, he saw action in four games and recorded one assist. Stackhouse's final NHL season was 1981-82. He played in 76 games and netted 21 points. In the postseason, he was limited to one game and zero points. During the 1982 offseason, he retired. Stackhouse, who despite his impressive numbers, was one of the least popular members of the team among fans, appeared in 621 games for the Penguins, sixth-most overall and scored 343 points, 17th-most in franchise history. Stackhouse also appeared in 235 consecutive games for the Penguins, the sixth-longest streak in franchise history. In 32 postseason games for the Penguins, Stackhouse recorded 13 points. In addition to holding the franchise record for most shots in a game, Stackhouse is one of three defensemen to record a hat trick for the Penguins (Duane Rupp and Paul Coffey are the others).
-Happy 32nd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Noah Welch. A second-round pick in 2001, Welch spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 2005-06, Welch appeared in five games and recorded four points. After 22 games and four points in 2006-07, Welch was dealt to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Gary Roberts. In 27 games with the Penguins, Welch recorded eight points. He is currently a member of Växjö in Sweden's SHL.
-Today's Obligatory Video: Hockey Night in Canada's playoff intro montage from this past spring:
(Photo: Penguins Hockey Cards)