- Pittsburgh Penguins
team_name = Pittsburgh Penguins
bg_color = #231F20
text_color = #CDB87C
conference = Eastern
division = Atlantic
founded = 1967
history = Pittsburgh Penguins
1967 - present
WXDX (105.9 FM)
WBGG (970 AM)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
team_colors = Black, Vegas Gold, White
head_coach = flagicon|CAN
general_manager = flagicon|USA
owner = flagicon|CAN
captain = flagicon|CAN
alternate_captains = flagicon|USA
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins(AHL) Wheeling Nailers(ECHL)
stanley_cups = 1990-91, 1991-92
president's_trophies = 1992-93
conf_titles = 1990-91, 1991-92, 2007-08
division_titles = 1990-91, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1997-98, 2007-08
The Pittsburgh Penguins are a professional
ice hockeyteam based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League(NHL). The franchise was founded in 1967 as an expansion team during the league's original expansion from six to twelve teams. The Penguins have played in Mellon Arenasince their first season, and will move into a new arena in time for the 2010-11 NHL season. They have won two Stanley Cupchampionships in their history, in 1991 and 1992.
Expansion years: 1967–69
Before the Penguins, Pittsburgh was the home of the early
NHLincarnation of the Pirates during the 1920s and the successful Hornets (AHL) franchise from the 1930s through the 1960s. When the NHL doubled in size for the start of 1967-68, Pittsburgh was one of six cities awarded an expansion team.
After deciding on the "Penguin" nickname (which was inspired by the fact that the team was going to play in the "Igloo", the nickname of the Pittsburgh Civic Arena), [cite web | url=http://www.letsgopens.com/pensname.php | publisher=LetsGoPens.com | title=Why the name Pittsburgh Penguins? | date=2002-09-19] a logo was chosen that had a penguin in front of a triangle, which symbolized the "Golden Triangle" of downtown Pittsburgh." [cite web | url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NHLPage&bcid=his_history | title=Uniform History | publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins]
The Penguins' first general manager was Jack Riley. His team (along with the other expansion teams) was hampered by restrictive rules that kept most major talent with the "
Original Six." Beyond aging sniper Andy Bathgateand tough defenseman Leo Boivin, the first Penguins team was manned by a cast of former minor-leaguers. The club missed the playoffs, but were a mere six points out of 1st place in the close-fought West Division. But there was a great moment in their first season which came on October 21, 1967 when they became the first team from the expansion class to beat an original six team as they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks4-2.
Though Bathgate led the team in scoring, both he and Boivin were soon gone. Former player George Sullivan was the head coach for the club's first two seasons, until being replaced by
Hockey Hall of Famer Leo Kelly. Despite a handful of decent players such as Ken Schinkel, Keith McCreary, agitator Bryan Watson, and goaltender Les Binkley, talent was otherwise thin. The Penguins missed the playoffs in five of their first seven seasons.
Tragedy struck the Penguins in 1970 when promising
rookiecenter Michel Briere, who finished third in scoring on the team, was injured in a car crash. Briere died after spending a year in the hospital, and his jersey, number 21, was the first to be retired by the franchise. The Penguins would reach the playoffs for the first time in 1970, advancing to the Western Conference Finals where they lost to the St. Louis Blues. Pittsburgh managed a playoff berth in 1972 but not much beyond that. With the Penguins battling the California Golden Sealsnear the division cellar in 1973-74, Jack Riley was fired as general manager and replaced with Jack Button. Button traded for Steve Durbano, Ab Demarco Jr., Bob "Battleship" Kelly, and Bob Paradise. The personnel moves proved successful, as the team's play improved. The Penguins just barely missed the playoffs in 1974.
Beginning in the mid-seventies, Pittsburgh iced some powerful offensive clubs, led by the likes of the "
Century Line" of forwards Syl Apps, Jr., Lowell MacDonald, and Jean Pronovost. They came tantalizingly close to reaching the Stanley Cup semifinals in 1975, but were ousted from the playoffs by the New York Islandersin one of only three best-of-seven game series in professional sports history where a team came back from being down three games to none. As the 70s wore on, they brought in other offensive weapons such as Rick Kehoe, Pierre Larouche, and Ron Schock, along with a couple solid blue-liners such as Ron Stackhouseand Dave Burrows. But the Pens' success beyond the regular season was always neutralized by mediocre team defense. Goaltender Denis Herronwas a stalwart in goal, later sharing the Vezina Trophy while with the Montreal Canadiens in 1980-1981.
In 1975, the Penguins' creditors demanded payment of back debts, forcing the team into
bankruptcy. The doors to the team's offices were padlocked, and it looked like the Penguins were headed for contraction. Through the intervention of a group that included Wren Blair, the team was prevented from folding.
Baz Bastien, a former coach and general manager of the AHL Hornets, later became general manager. The Penguins missed the playoffs in 1977-78 when their offense lagged, and Larouche was traded for
Pete Mahovlichand Peter Lee. Bastien traded prime draft choices for several players whose best years were already behind them, such as Orest Kindrachuk, Tom Bladon, and Rick MacLeish, and the team would suffer in the early 1980s as a result. The decade closed with a playoff appearance in 1979 and a rousing opening series win over Buffalo before a second round sweep at the hands of the Boston Bruins.
The Penguins began the decade by changing their team colors. In January 1980, the team went from blue & white to their present-day black & gold to honor Pittsburgh's other sports teams, the Pirates and the Steelers, as well as the Flag of Pittsburgh. Both the Pirates and Steelers had worn black and gold for decades, and both were fresh off world championship seasons at that time. The
Boston Bruinsprotested this color change, claiming a monopoly on black and gold. The Penguins defended their choice stating that an early hockey club in Pittsburgh also used black and gold as their team colors. They also argued that black and gold were Pittsburgh's traditional sporting colors. The NHL agreed, and Pittsburgh was allowed to use black and gold, a color scheme since adopted as well by the Anaheim Duckswhen that team changed their uniforms in 2006.
During the early part of the decade, the Penguins made a habit of being a tough draw for higher seeded opponents in the playoffs. In 1980, the 13th seeded Penguins took the Bruins to the limit in their first round playoff series. The following season, as the 15th seed, they lost the decisive game of their first round series in overtime to the heavily favored St. Louis Blues. Then, in the 1982 playoffs, the Penguins held a 3-1 lead late in the fifth and final game of their playoff series against the reigning champions, the
New York Islanders. However, the Islanders rallied to force overtime and won the series on a goal by John Tonelli. It would be the Pens' final playoff appearance until 1989.
The team had the league's worst record in both the 1983 and 1984 seasons, and with the team suffering financial problems, it again looked as though the Penguins would fold. But the reward for the dismal 83-84 season was the right to draft French Canadian phenomenon
Mario Lemieux. Other teams offered substantial trade packages for the draft choice, but the Penguins kept the pick.
The Mario Lemieux era: 1984–2005
With the first overall pick in the
1984 NHL Entry DraftPittsburgh selected Quebec Major Junior Hockey Leaguesuperstar Mario Lemieux. He paid dividends right away, scoring on the first shot of his first shift in his first NHL game. Some criticized Lemieux for neglecting his defensive responsibilities, but Pittsburgh was looking for offense.
Pittsburgh spent four more years out of the playoffs. In the late 80s, the Penguins finally gave Lemieux a strong supporting cast, trading for superstar defenseman
Paul Coffeyfrom the Edmonton Oilers(after the Oilers' 1987 Stanley Cupwin), and bringing in young talent such as scorers Kevin Stevens, Rob Brown, and John Cullenfrom the minors. And they finally acquired a top-flight goaltender with the acquisition of Tom Barrassofrom the Buffalo Sabres. The Pens made the playoffs, but lost in the second round to their trans- Pennsylvaniarivals, the Philadelphia Flyers. Though amassing 123 points, Lemieux missed 21 games in 1989-90 due to a herniated disk in his back, and the Pens slipped out of the playoff picture. In 1990-91, the Penguins reached the top of the standings. They drafted Czech right-winger Jaromir Jagr in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, the first player from his country to attend an NHL draft without having to defect, and then paired with Mario Lemieuxas the league's biggest one-two scoring threat since Wayne Gretzkyand Jari Kurrion the Edmonton Oilersin the 1980s. Mark Recchiarrived from the minors, and Bryan Trottiersigned as a free agent. Joe Mullenin a minor trade all set up these major trades that brought Larry Murphy, Ron Francis, and Ulf Samuelssonto Pittsburgh. The Penguins finally became the league's best team, defeating the Minnesota North Starsin the Stanley Cupfinals in six games. After the 1991 Stanley Cup Finals, The Stanley Cup Champions Penguins visited the White House to meet President George H. W. Bush. They were the first NHL team to ever visit the White House. [cite web | url=http://www.penguinjersey.com/Common/open.php | title=Pittsburgh Hockey History | publisher=PenguinsJersey.com] The following season, the team lost coach Bob Johnson to cancer, and Scotty Bowmantook over as coach. Under Bowman, they swept the Chicago Blackhawksto repeat as Stanley Cup Champions. Cancernearly dealt the Penguins a double whammy in 1993. Not only were they reeling from Johnson's death, but Lemieux was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. Only two months after the diagnosis, his comeback was one of the league's great "feel-good" stories of all time, missing 24 out of 84 games, but winning his fourth Art Ross Trophyas scoring champion with 160 points scored, edging out Pat LaFontaineand Adam Oatesfor the award. Despite the off-ice difficulties, Pittsburgh finished with a 56-21-7 record, winning the franchise's first (and still only) Presidents' Trophyas the team with the most points in the regular season; the 119 points earned that year is still a franchise record. After Lemieux's return, the team played better than it ever had before, winning an NHL-record 17 consecutive games before tying the New Jersey Devilsin the final game of the season. Despite all of this success, they were still eliminated in the second round by the New York Islandersin overtime of Game 7.
The Penguins continued to be a formidable team throughout the 1990s. The stars of the Stanley Cup years were followed by the likes of forwards
Alexei Kovalev, Martin Straka, Aleksey Morozov, Robert Lang, and Petr Nedved, and defensemen Sergei Zubov, Darius Kasparaitis, and Kevin Hatcher. Lemieux retired in 1997 and formally passed the torch to Jagr as the league's leading scorer. For the next 4 seasons, Jagr, as the captain, won 4 consecutive Art Ross Trophies. Jagr was clearly the NHL's most dominant player with the absence of Lemieux. Because of Lemieux's legendary status, the Hockey Hall of Famewaived its three-year waiting period and inducted him as an Honored Member in the same year he retired.
Despite a strong on-ice product, the Penguins were in the midst of a battle for their survival. Their free-spending ways earlier in the decade came with a price; owners
Howard Baldwinand Morris Belzberg(who bought the Penguins after their first Cup win) had asked the players to defer their salaries. When they finally came due, combined with other financial pressures, the Penguins were forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 1998--the second such filing in franchise history. Just when it appeared that the Pens were about to either move or fold, Lemieux stepped forward with an unprecedented proposal. He had become one of the team's principal creditors due to years of deferred salary adding up to millions of dollars. He proposed to recover his deferred salary by converting it into equity and buying the team. The court agreed, and Lemieux assumed control on September 3 1999. Just as he'd saved the Penguins 15 years earlier, he'd done it again.
He later shocked the hockey world by deciding to come back as a player. He returned to the ice on
December 27, 2000, becoming the first player-owner in NHL history. Lemieux helped lead the Penguins deep into the 2001 playoffs, highlighted by an overtime victory against the Buffalo Sabresin Game 7 of the second round. Kasparaitis scored the series-clinching goal to advance the Penguins to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost in 5 games to the New Jersey Devils.
Still, the Penguins needed to cut costs. They dealt Jagr and
Frantisek Kucerato the Washington Capitalsfor prospects Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, and Ross Lupaschuk, and $4.9 million in the summer of 2001. The absence of Jagr proved devastating to the Penguins, and in 2002 they missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. Further financial difficulties saw them trade fan favorite Alexei Kovalevto the New York Rangersthe next season, quickly followed by the departure of Lang in free agency. Unfortunately for the franchise, none of the prospects acquired for the stars' salary dumps materialized into NHL stars. Thus, the Penguins spent the next several seasons in the NHL's basement.
2003 was expected to be a rebuilding year for the Penguins, with first overall pick
Marc-Andre Fleuryin the 2003 NHL Entry Draftand new head coach (and former Penguin and commentator) Eddie Olczyk. Cost restrictions made the signing of Fleury rather tense, but he later showed his resolve with excellent goaltending for a last-place club. Lemieux suffered a hip injury early in the season, and he sat out the rest of the season to recover. The Pens then traded Straka away to the Los Angeles Kingsand sent Fleury back to his junior team due to further money problems. The Penguins finished with the worst NHL record having won just 23 games, but lost the lottery for the 2004 NHL Entry Draftto the Washington Capitals. Despite missing the playoffs for a third year in a row, the Penguins did come on after the All-Star break after a very slow first half of the season and finished undefeated in the month of April.
The Penguins have suffered small-market syndrome for most of their existence, and cost-cutting prevented another collapse into insolvency. Financially, the team was one of the better-managed NHL franchises between its 1998 bankruptcy and the
2004-05 NHL lockout. Thanks to significant post-season runs, the Penguins broke even in 2000 and turned a small profit in 2001. Failure to make the playoffs in the next three seasons hurt the team's bottom line, but the shedding of contracts (such as Jaromir Jagr and Martin Straka) kept the team afloat as other franchises, like the Ottawa Senators, faced significant losses or declared bankruptcy. In the 2003-04 season, they had the lowest average attendance of just 11,877 fans per game.
However, by 2005, the Penguins had paid off all of their creditors, both secured and unsecured. In fact, the court approved Lemieux' plan largely because it was intended to pay everyone the team owed.
2004-05 NHL seasoncanceled due to the NHL lockout, several Penguins signed with the club's American Hockey Leagueaffiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, while experienced players like Aleksey Morozovand Milan Krafthoned their talents in the elite European leagues. Morozov and Kraft would stay in the elite European leagues after the 2004-05 NHL Lock-Out.
Post lockout / Crosby Era: 2005-present
The Penguins won an unprecedented draft lottery on July 22, 2005, in which all thirty teams had weighted chances to win the first overall pick of the
2005 NHL Entry Draft. The Penguins chose junior league superstar Sidney Crosbyfrom the Rimouski Oceanicof the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
With a new Collective Bargaining Agreement signed by the owners and players to end the
2004-05 NHL lockout, the Penguins began rebuilding the team under a salary cap. They signed big-name free agents Sergei Gonchar, John LeClair, and Zigmund Palffy, and traded for goaltender Jocelyn Thibault.
The team began the season with a long winless skid that resulted in a coaching change from Olczyk to
Michel Therrien. Palffy announced his retirement due to a lingering shoulder injury while the team's second-leading scorer. Then on January 24, 2006, Lemieux announced his second retirement, this time for good, after developing an irregular heart beat. He finished as the NHL's seventh all-time scorer (1,723), eighth in goals (690) and tenth in assists (1,033), but also with the second highest career points per game average (1.88), which is second to Wayne Gretzky's 1.92. [http://www.pittsburghpenguins.com/team/press/arts/1621.0.php] [cite news | url=http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2304087 | publisher= ESPN| title=Lemieux announces retirement | date=2006-01-25] [cite news | last=Allen | first=Kevin | url=http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/penguins/2006-01-24-lemieux-retire_x.htm | publisher= USA Today| title=Lemieux says goodbye for final time | date=2006-01-25]
It was now, for all intents and purposes, Crosby's team, and on
April 17, Crosby became the youngest rookie in history to score 100 points. And on the Penguins' final game of the season, Crosby scored a goal and an assist to break Lemieux's record and became the top scoring rookie in team history with 102 points, despite losing the rookie scoring race to Alexander Ovechkin. Despite a decent finish, the Penguins posted the worst record of the Eastern Conference and the highest goals-against in the league.
The team announced on
April 20that the contract for General Manager Craig Patrickwould not be renewed. Patrick had been GM since December 1989, and the Penguins won five division titles and back-to-back Stanley Cups during his tenure. On May 25, Ray Sherosigned a five-year contract as General Manager.
October 18, 2006, young Russian superstar Evgeni Malkinscored a goal in his first NHL game, and went on to set the modern NHL record with a goal in each of his first six games. Also contributing early to the 2006-07 season was Jordan Staal, the third of four Staal brothers in hockey, who was the Penguins' first pick (second overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. On February 27, 2007, the Penguins acquired Gary Roberts from Florida and Georges Laraquefrom Phoenix.
The Penguins earned points in sixteen straight games of 14 wins and only 2 overtime losses in early 2007. The streak ended on
February 19with a last-minute loss to the New York Islanders. [citation | url=http://www.nhl.com/scores/htmlreports/20062007/GS020892.HTM | title=Game Summary | publisher= NHL| date= 2007-02-19] It was the second longest point streak in club history.
The Penguins finished the 2006-07 season in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 47-24-11, totaling 105 points, only two points behind the division winner,
New Jersey Devils. It was the franchise's first 100-point season in 11 years, and represented a healthy 47-point leap from the previous season. Sidney Crosbywon the Art Ross Trophyas the NHL's top scorer with 120 points, amassing 36 goals and 84 assists, beating San Jose Sharks' Joe Thorntonby six points (Crosby's victory in the scoring race marked the twelfth time in the past nineteen seasons that a Penguin has won the Art Ross Trophy). In the first round of the 2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Penguins were defeated four games to one, by the eventual Stanley Cup finalists, the Ottawa Senators. At the season's end, Crosby, in addition to winning the Art Ross, also won the Hart Memorial Trophyas league MVP and the Lester B. Pearson Awardas the league's most outstanding player. In addition, rookies Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal were finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophyfor rookie of the year in which Malkin won.
After the conclusion of the Penguins' season, the team announced that
Sidney Crosbywould become the team's captain. This honor made him the youngest full team captain in NHL history at only 19 years old (In January 1984, Brian Bellowsof the Minnesota North Starswas made captain at 5 months younger than Crosby, but he only served the latter half of the 1983-84 season replacing injured captain Craig Hartsburg). He had been offered the position during the course of the season, but Crosby deferred stating that he did not want to mess with the chemistry of the team while they were in the playoff hunt.
After a slow start to the 2007-08 season, the Penguins caught fire in January, and would fall no lower than the third seed in the East from that point onward. Despite captain Crosby missing 28 games with a high right ankle sprain and starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury missing 27 games due to the same injury, the Penguins flourished due in large part to the stellar play of center Evgeni Malkin and backup goaltender
Ty Conklin. On February 26, the Penguins would trade for Atlanta star right winger Marian Hossaas well as forward Pascal Dupuisat the NHL trade deadline in exchange for Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito, and a first round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The Penguins also acquired defensemen Hal Gillfrom the Toronto Maple Leafsfor a second round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry draft and a fifth round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
April 2, 2008, the Penguins clinched the Atlantic Division title--their first division title in 10 years--with a 4-2 win against the Philadelphia Flyers. However, they closed the season with a loss to the Flyers on the next night, relegating them to the second seed in the East behind the Montreal Canadiens. The Pens had spent most of the second half going back and forth with the Habs for first place in the East and the second-best record in the league. Star center Evgeni Malkin would finish the season with 106 points for second place in the league just behind Washington's Alexander Ovechkin and become a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy, the second time in as many seasons that a Penguin has been a finalist for the award. The team then proceeded to oust the Ottawa Senators, who had beaten them in the 2007 playoff series, in a four game sweep. They then defeated the New York Rangers in five games, and also defeated Philadelphia in five games in the Eastern Conference Finals, including a 6-0 romp to clinch the Prince of Wales Trophy. Pittsburgh went on to lose the 2008 Stanley Cup Finalsto the Detroit Red Wingsin six games, finishing the playoffs with a 14-6 record.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have had their tradition and success on the ice tempered with a shaky ownership group from time to time. As early as the mid 1970s the ownership group experienced cash flow issues and sought to sell the team, even if it meant relocation. In the mid 1980s, only a decade later, a similar financial situation faced the team. As recently as the 2006-07 seasons the franchise ownership sought alternatives that would provide a return on their
investment. Various prospective owners sought to buy the team; however, the Lemieux group eventually decided to keep ownership rather than move the team to the highest bidder, thus resulting in the Pittsburgh Penguins to remain in Pittsburgh for at least 30 more years. As in the mid 70s and 80s, the fanbase and local government officials were successful in persuading the ownership that Pittsburgh and its region were capable of meeting the needs of a modern NHL team. This decision proved favorable as the Penguins enjoyed franchise record home sellouts throughout the 2007-08 NHL seasonand 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs; in some cases their home playoff games were sold out in less than 15 minutes. [cite news | last=Sager | first=Joe | url=http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=356694 | publisher=Pittsburgh Penguins | title=Pens Fans Set Sellout Record | date=2008-03-12] [cite news | url=http://kdka.com/sports/penguins/Penguins.tickets.playoffs.2.702941.html | publisher= KDKA-TV| title=Pittsburgh Penguins Tickets For 2nd Playoff Round Sold Out]
New arena agreement
On March 13, 2007, in a joint announcement by Pennsylvania Governor
Ed Rendell, Allegheny County Chief Dan Onorato, PittsburghMayor Luke Ravenstahl, and Mario Lemieuxof the Pittsburgh Penguins ownership group, it was made public that an agreement had been reached between the parties. A new state-of-the-art multi-purpose arena will be built, guaranteeing that the Penguins will remain in Pittsburgh. Following the announcement of this plan, the Lemieux ownership group announced that they no longer have plans to sell the team.
On June 8, 2007, a $325 million bond was issued and the Penguins signed a 30-year
lease, binding the Penguins to the city of Pittsburgh for the next 30 years, and the lease agreement was signed on September 19. On May 6th, 2008, the Pittsburgh planning commission unanimously approved the final design. The arena will include a glass atrium overlooking downtown Pittsburgh and rooftop lights shining into the sky. The new $290 million dollar arena is expected to open in time for the 2010-11 NHL season. [cite web | title=Penguins to open new arena in 2010-11 season | url=http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app?articleid=335606&page=NewsPage&service=page | publisher= NHL.com| date=2007-08-02] On August 14, 2008 the ground breaking ceremony for the new arena was held, thus officially beginning construction on the new facility.
Logos and uniforms
With the exception of the 1992-2001 period, the Penguins, have used a variation of the "skating penguin" logo since the team's inception. For their inaugural season, the logo featured a hefty-looking skating penguin wearing a scarf, on a yellow triangle inside a circle reading "Pittsburgh Penguins". The yellow triangle is a reference to the Golden Triangle in the city of Pittsburgh. This logo did not appear on the team's uniforms, however, which only featured the word "PITTSBURGH" diagonally. A refined version of the logo appeared on the uniforms in the second season, which removed the scarf and gave the penguin a sleeker, "meaner" look. The circle encompassing the logo was removed mid-season in 1972.
This would remain unchanged until the 1992-1993 season, when the team unveiled new uniforms and a new logo. The logo featured a modern-looking "flying penguin". Although the logo survived in various forms for 15 years, it received mixed responses from fans and was never as widely accepted as the "skating penguin" logo. Longtime KDKA anchor Bill Burns even went as far as calling the penguin in the logo "a
Mario Lemieux(a personal fan of the "skating penguin" logo) purchased the team from bankruptcy court in 1999, he announced plans to bring back the "skating penguin" logo. This occurred for the 2000-2001 season, when the team revived the logo (albeit with a "Vegas gold" triangle instead of yellow) on the chest of the team's new alternate jerseys. The following season, the logo became the primary logo, and the "flying penguin" logo (also with a "Vegas gold" triangle instead of yellow) was relegated to secondary status, and only on the shoulders of the team's jerseys, until it was quietly retired in 2007 when the team introduced their version of the Rbk Edgeuniforms.
The team's colors were originally
powder blue, navy blueand white. The powder blue was changed to royal bluein 1974, but returned in 1977. As mentioned before, the team adopted the current black and gold color scheme in January 1980 to unify the colors of the city's professional sports teams, although like the Pirates and Steelers, the shade of gold more closely resembled yellow. The shade of gold was changed to Vegas gold in 2001.
The uniforms themselves have changed several times over the years. The original jerseys from the team's first season had a diagonal script reading "Pittsburgh". Currently, only images of these uniforms survive. The uniforms themselves were discovered nearly thirty years later in a garbage bag by a Civic Arena employee at the arena. Due to the years of neglect in the bag, the uniforms were damaged beyond repair. The following season, the team changed the Pittsburgh script to the crest of the team's logo. Last names were added in 1970.
Until 1977, the team had some minor striping patterns on the jerseys change every few years. But in 1977, the team basically adopted their longest-lasting uniform style to date and a style they would wear for the next 16 seasons, winning the
Stanley Cuptwice in the process. When the colors were swapped from blue and white to black and gold in 1980, the uniform patterns themselves remained unchanged. This was likely due to the fact that the change was made in the middle of the season. From the 1981-1982 season to the 1984-1985 season, the team had a gold "Sunday" jersey, called as such because the team only worn them on Sundays. This was a rare example of an NHL team having a third jerseybefore the rule allowing such jerseys was officially implemented in 1995.
After winning their second
Stanley Cupin 1992, the team completely redesigned their uniforms and introduced the "flying penguin" logo. The team's away uniforms were somewhat of a throwback to the team's first season, as they revived the diagonal "Pittsburgh" script. In 1995, the team introduced their second alternate jersey, which was a black Penguins jersey with the team's logo and had blue accents, an obvious throwback to the original team colors. This jersey would prove to be so popular that the team adopted it as their away jersey in 1997.
In 2000, the team unveiled yet another alternate jersey, the aforementioned black jersey featuring the revival of the "skating penguin" logo. This would later prove to be a test to see how the revived logo would do with fans, and the following season became the team's away uniform with a white version as the team's home jersey. When the
Rbk Edgejerseys were unveiled for the 2007-2008 season leaguewide, the Penguins made some minor striping pattern changes and quietly removed the "flying penguin" logo from the shoulders. They also added a "Pittsburgh 250" gold circular patch to the shoulders to commemorate the 250th birthday of the city of Pittsburgh.
While the Penguins, as with the rest of the NHL, have worn their darker jerseys at home since the league made the initiative to do so starting with the
2003-04 NHL season, the team did start wearing their white jerseys in some home games during the 2007-08 NHL season, as well as wearing their powder blue, 1970s throwbacks against the Buffalo Sabresin Buffalo in the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic.
This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Penguins.
"Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, OTL = Overtime Losses, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes"
Records as of
April 7, 2007. [cite web | publisher=Hockeydb.com | url=http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/teamseasons.php?tid=50 | title=Pittsburgh Penguins season statistics and records] [cite news | publisher= ESPN.com| url=http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/standings | title=NHL Standings]
:1 As of the
2005-06 NHL season, all games will have a winner; the OTL column includes SOL (Shootout losses).
Hall of Famers
Andy Bathgate, RW, (1967-68, 1970-71) inducted 1978
Leo Boivin, D, (1967-69) inducted 1986
Paul Coffey, D, (1987-92) inducted 2004
Ron Francis, C, (1990-98) inducted 2007
Tim Horton, D , (1971-72) inducted 1977
Mario Lemieux, C, (1984-97, 2000-06) inducted 1997
Joe Mullen, RW, (1990-95, 1996-97) inducted 2000
Larry Murphy, D, (1990-95) inducted 2004
Bryan Trottier, C, (1990-92, 1993-94) inducted 1997
Scotty Bowman, Director of Player Development & Head Coach, (1990-93) inducted 1991
*Bob Johnson, Head Coach, (1990-91) inducted 1992
Craig Patrick, GM & Head Coach, (1989-2006) inducted 2001
Herb Brooks, Head Coach, (1999-2000) inducted 2006
Mike Lange, Announcer, (1975-Present) inducted 2001 - Foster Hewitt Memorial Award
Ab McDonald, 1967-68
*No captain, 1968-73
Ron Schock, 1973-77
Jean Pronovost, 1977-78
Orest Kindrachuk, 1978-81
Randy Carlyle, 1981-84
*Mike Bullard, 1984-86
Terry Ruskowski, 1986-87
*Dan Frawley, 1987
Mario Lemieux, 1987-94
*No captain, 1994-95 (Lockout)
Ron Francis, 1995 [cite web| url=http://www.legendsofhockey.net:8080/LegendsOfHockey/jsp/SearchPlayer.jsp?player=10497 | title=Ron Francis | publisher=Legends of Hockey | accessdate=2008-02-04]
*Mario Lemieux, 1995-97
*Ron Francis, 1997-98
*Jaromir Jagr, 1998-2001
*Mario Lemieux, 2001-06
*No captain, 2006-07
Sidney Crosby, 2007-"present"
*21 Michel Briere, C (1969-70) taken out of circulation following his death (1971) but not officially retired until
January 5, 2001
Mario Lemieux, C (1984-97) & (2000-06) number retired November 19 1997; his number was "unretired" when he began his comeback on December 27
Penguins' Ring of Honor
A mural honoring members of the franchise's "Millennium Team", it was first displayed
September 26, 2003. [cite news | last=Molinari | first=Dave | url=http://www.post-gazette.com/penguins/20030927pensnotes0927p7.asp | title=Penguins Notebook: Patrick undecided on whether to sign No. 1 pick Fleury | publisher= Pittsburgh Post-Gazette| date=2003-09-27] This is a permanent display at Mellon Arenadesigned to honor past greats without having to retire their numbers. Current members are:
*Bob Johnson (Coach)
*Larry Murphy (D)
First round draft picks
Steve Rexe(2nd overall)
Garry Swain(4th overall)
Greg Polis(7th overall)
Blaine Stoughton(7th overall)
Pierre Larouche(8th overall)
Gordon Laxton(15th overall)
Blair Chapman(2nd overall)
*1980: Mike Bullard (9th overall)
Rich Sutter(10th overall)
Bob Errey(15th overall)
Mario Lemieux(1st overall), Doug Bodger(9th overall), Roger Belanger(16th overall)
Craig Simpson(2nd overall)
Zarley Zalapski(4th overall)
*1987: Chris Joseph (5th overall)
Darrin Shannon(4th overall)
Jamie Heward(16th overall)
*1990: Jaromir Jagr (5th overall)
*1991: Markus Naslund (16th overall)
Martin Straka(16th overall)
Stefan Bergkvist(26th overall)
*1994: Chris Wells (24th overall)
Aleksey Morozov(24th overall)
Craig Hillier(23rd overall)
*1997: Robert Dome (17th overall)
Milan Kraft(23rd overall)
Konstantin Koltsov(18th overall)
Brooks Orpik(18th overall)
Colby Armstrong(21st overall)
Ryan Whitney(5th overall)
*2003: Marc-Andre Fleury (1st overall)
Evgeni Malkin(2nd overall)
Sidney Crosby(1st overall)
Jordan Staal(2nd overall)
Angelo Esposito(20th overall)
Franchise scoring leaders
These are the top-ten point-scorers in franchise history. Figures are updated after each completed NHL regular season.
"Note: Pos = Position; GP = Games Played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; P/G = Points per game; * = current Penguins player"
NHL awards and trophies
Prince of Wales Trophy
*1990-91, 1991-92, 2007-08
Art Ross Trophy
Mario Lemieux: 1987-88, 1988-89, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1995-96, 1996-97
*Jaromir Jagr: 1994-95, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01
Sidney Crosby: 2006-07 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
Lowell MacDonald: 1972-73
Mario Lemieux: 1992-93 Calder Memorial Trophy
Mario Lemieux: 1984-85
Evgeni Malkin: 2006-07 Conn Smythe Trophy
Mario Lemieux: 1990-91, 1991-92 Frank J. Selke Trophy
Ron Francis: 1994-95 Hart Memorial Trophy
Mario Lemieux: 1987-88, 1992-93, 1995-96
*Jaromir Jagr: 1998-99
Sidney Crosby: 2006-07 James Norris Memorial Trophy
Randy Carlyle: 1980-81 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
Rick Kehoe: 1980-81
Ron Francis: 1994-95, 1997-98 Lester B. Pearson Award
Mario Lemieux: 1985-86, 1987-88, 1992-93, 1995-96
*Jaromir Jagr: 1998-99, 1999-00
Sidney Crosby: 2006-07 Lester Patrick Trophy
Jack Riley: 1985-86
Joe Mullen: 1994-95
Mario Lemieux: 1999-00
Craig Patrick: 1999-00
Herb Brooks: 2001-02 NHL Plus/Minus Award
Mario Lemieux: 1992-93
Ron Francis: 1994-95 Lou Marsh Trophy
Mario Lemieux: 1993
Sidney Crosby: 2007
NHL All-Star Game MVP
Greg Polis: 1973
Mario Lemieux: 1985, 1988, 1990 NHL All-Rookie Team
Mario Lemieux, Warren Young
*1991: Jaromir Jagr
Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal
First Team All-Star
Paul Coffey, Mario Lemieux
*1995: Jaromir Jagr
*1996: Jaromir Jagr,
*1998: Jaromir Jagr
*1999: Jaromir Jagr
*2000: Jaromir Jagr
*2001: Jaromir Jagr
Evgeni MalkinSecond Team All-Star
Tom Barrasso, Larry Murphy, Kevin Stevens
*1997: Jaromir Jagr
Franchise individual records
*Most goals in a season:
Mario Lemieux, 85 (1988-89)
*Most assists in a season:
Mario Lemieux, 114 (1988-89)
*Most points in a season:
Mario Lemieux, 199 (1988-89)
*Most penalty minutes in a season:
Paul Baxter, 409 (1981-82)
*Most points in a season, defenseman:
Paul Coffey, 113 (1988-89)
*Most points in a season, rookie:
Sidney Crosby, 102 (2005-06)
*Most wins in a season:
Tom Barrasso, 43 (1992-93)
*Most wins in a playoff season:
Tom Barrasso, 16 (1991-92)
*Lowest goals against average in a playoff season:
Ron Tugnutt, 1.77 (1999-00)
*Highest save percentage in a playoff season:
Ron Tugnutt, .945% (1999-00)
*Most playoff shutouts:
Tom Barrasso, 6
*Most shutouts in a playoff season:
Marc-Andre Fleury, 3 (2007-08)
Paul Steigerwald, Play-by-play
Bob Errey, Color commentator
Mike Lange, Play-by-play
Phil Bourque, Color commentator
Bob Grove, Pre & Postgame host
Pittsburgh Penguins Owners
Pittsburgh Penguins Team MVPAward
1967 NHL Expansion
List of NHL players
List of NHL seasons
List of Stanley Cup champions
* [http://www.pittsburghpenguins.com/ Official website of the Pittsburgh Penguins]
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