Goalie Tom Barrasso signed with the Penguins — briefly — so he could retire a Penguin.
Barrasso had a very strange career.
He played in Buffalo right out of the draft (and out of high school), winning the Calder. Then he sort of struggled and was traded to Pittsburgh, where he spent 12 seasons and won two Stanley Cups, missing most of two of those seasons with injuries.
Then he just kind of wandered the NHL as a hired gun, doing a season here and a season there, but never really being part of a team.
And as his desire to retire a Penguin attests, being part of a team was important to Barrasso.
Shockingly, he never won the Masterton Trophy, which is given to players who overcome personal hardships.
Barrasso, then a Penguin, missed part of the 1990 season to care for his 2 1/2 year old daughter’s cancer. She survived but the cancer returned 10 years later. Barrasso left hockey to care for her. The cancer went into remission and Barrasso returned to hockey, this time as a Hurricane.
If stuff that sad doesn’t win you a Masterton, I don’t know what does.
Barrasso had a nice long career, but it always seemed it could have been better. Like if Buffalo had let him develop in the minors a little more. And if his daughter hadn’t been sick. Barrasso really overcame a lot. I hope he enjoys retirement.