Philippe and Pascal Dupuis are not hockey’s newest set of brothers to combine forces on the same team, as Philippe signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday. In fact, they’re not even related. This is despite the fact that both were born in April (Pascal in 1979, Philippe in 1985) in Laval, Quebec.
However, some parts of their hockey careers have similarities, and it’s worth going over them if for no other purpose than to teach Pittsburgh fans about the newest member of their organization.
Philippe, a center, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2003 draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Pascal, a left wing, went undrafted. Both played junior hockey with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies of the QMJHL. Pascal played there in 1996-97 and part of the 1997-98 season before being traded to the Shawinigan Catractes, putting up 50 points in 83 games. Philippe played for the Huskies in 2004-05 and had 84 points in 62 games.
Upon graduating from juniors, Pascal played one season with the now-defunct Cleveland Lumberjacks of the IHL, where he had 43 points in 70 games. He made his NHL debut with the Minnesota Wild during the 2000-01 season and had one goal in four games. In 2001-02, when he was 22 years old, he earned a permanent spot on the NHL roster.
Philippe has had a rougher journey through the minors, however. He has played in the AHL for the Syracuse Crunch, Lake Erie Monsters and Toronto Marlies. His best season came in 2009, when he had 46 points in 67 games with the Monsters.
He made his NHL debut in December of 2008 when he was with the Colorado Avalanche. However, he did not score his first NHL point until November 4, 2009 in a game against the Phoenix Coyotes. It was the only point he scored in four games with the Avs.
Pascal has been in three organizations throughout his career, four if you count a six-game stint with the New York Rangers in the 2006-07 season. He has also played for the Atlanta Thrashers and the Penguins, his current team. Philippe will start in his fourth organization this fall, as he’s been with the Blue Jackets, the Avalanche and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Both players have championship experience at different levels. Philippe was a Calder Cup finalist with the Toronto Marlies this year and was third in the AHL with 14 points in 17 playoff games. Pascal has the Stanley Cup experience, though, as he was on the 2008 Penguins team that lost to the Detroit Red Wings and the 2009 squad that beat the Wings. Pascal had seven points in 36 playoff games those two seasons and has 33 points in 82 career playoff games.
Philippe just participated in his first AHL playoffs this year and has never been in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Pascal has been in the NHL for over 10 years now and has 336 points in 750 NHL games. Philippe has 116 NHL games under his belt, but has just 18 points. He played 30 games with the Maple Leafs this year, but had no points and a minus-two rating. He is 27 years old and unlikely to make the NHL full-time at this stage of his career.
Both the Dupuis’ will be free agents at the end of the 2012-13 campaign. Pascal is making $1.5 million this year, while Philippe will get $600,000 at the NHL level. Both are affordable, low-risk signings for Pittsburgh.
The two Dupuis’ both bring their own abilities and assets to the Penguins, even if Philippe won’t have anywhere near the impact that Pascal does. But still, isn’t it more fun to compare and contrast the two than get constant reminders that no, they are not related?
After all, we bet that sometimes, the Sedins, Staals and Schenns would love to get away from all the brothers jokes on NBC Sports Network and other local networks.
Philippe and Pascal, consider yourselves fortunate.