(Re-posted from October 3rd)
To put in perspective how long Max Talbot wore a Penguins uniform, he probably accepted a pass or two from Mario Lemieux during game action. Talbot made the 2005-2006 opening-night roster and played 48 games, scoring 5G 3A. The most memorable moment of that first season was his first career NHL goal:
He played the rest of that 2005-2006 season in Wilkes-Barre, but Pens fans knew he'd be back. He was scrappy; he was little; you rooted for him. A handful of games into the 2006-2007 season, he returned to Pittsburgh and didn't leave until July 1, 2011. If we had to pinpoint something memorable he did during the 06-07 season, it was helping to ignite the furious comeback in Washington. Interestingly enough, his 13 goals that season is his career-high. Not kidding.
Then came the 2007-2008 season. We're guessing this is when that first A&L commercial came out. His popularity among Pens fans exploded, and he was still committed to bringing everything he had, even though he was a victim of the High Ankle Sprain curse that swept throughout the Pens locker room. The playoffs came around, and the Pens rolled through the Eastern Conference. In Game Two of the ECF against the Flyers, he scored a huge goal to put the Pens in front halfway through the third. We remember this because, one, it was a huge goal, two, there's a great pic of it and, three, Gary Roberts assisted on it.
As we all know, Talbot had one more trick up his sleeve that playoff year. Late in regulation in Game 5 of the SCF in Detroit, Talbot was pegged to be the extra attacker when Fleury was pulled. What Phil Bourque says after Lange's call was 100% true at the time: Max Talbot was the heart and soul of the Penguins. Therrien knew it; the fans knew it. And that's why he was on the ice.