Pittsburgh Penguins is an ice hockey team based in Pittsburgh. It was founded 1967, when the National Hockey League (NHL) expanded from six to twelve teams. Pittsburgh Penguins is a member of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference.
Team History – Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Pirates Played NHL from 1925 to 1930. After that Pittsburgh had only AHL team – Pittsburgh Hornets from 1936 to 1967 (break 1956 to 1961). 1966 NHL awarded an expansion team to Pittsburgh for the 1967-68 season. From 1967 to 1984 the Pens had ups and downs – the reached playoffs 9 times during that period, but also had big financial problems. The Pens did not reached playoffs from 1984-88, but many people think that their new era started 1984, when the Pens drafted Mario Lemieux. The Penguins opted slowly to strengthen their roster and final piece of that puzzle was 1990 draft, when the Pens drafted Jaromir Jagr.
First Stanley Cup Victory
Pittsburgh Penguins won their first Stanley Cup in 1991 when they won Minnesota North Stars at finals 4-2. Next year they took second Stanley Cup a row and won Chicago Blackhawks at finals 4-0. The Penguins continued to be solid team after that and reached playoffs every year between 1993-2001. Next big step for the team was 2005 draft – the Pens won draft lottery and selected Sidney Crosby. Second piece of new becoming was 2004 draft pick of the team – Jevgeni Malkin. The Pens reached Stanley Cup Finals at season 2007-08 but lost to Detroit Red Wings 2-4. The Pens got their revenge next year when they reached finals again – this time they won Detroit Red Wings 4-3. Pittsburgh Penguins have also recent success – they won Stanley Cup twice in a row – 2015-16 (won San Jose Sharks at finals 4-2) and 2016-17 (won Nashville Predators at finals 4-2). Familiar faces, such as Malkin and Crosby were also behind these wins.
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Owners and Staff
Currently, the General Manager of Pittsburgh Penguins is Jim Rutherford. The current head coach Mike Sullivan was appointed to his position in 2015. The team is owned by Ronald Burkle and Mario Lemieux. Pittsburgh Penguins has two minor league affiliates, those being Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in AHL league and South Wheeling Nailers in ECHL league.
Mario Lemieux – “The Magnificent One”
Mario Lemieux was drafted by the Pens 1st overall in 1984 NHL Draft. He played his whole career at Pittsburgh – Lemieux career was plagued by health problems and those problems limited him to 915 of a possible 1430 regular season games. He retired twice due health problems, but came back. Despite those health problems Mario Lemieux was one of the greatest players ever. His best season with points was 1988-89 – 76 games and 199 (85+114) points. He won Calder Trophy as a Rookie of the Year 1985 – 3 Hart Trophies, 6 Art Ross Trophies, two Stanley Cups (1991, 1992) and many smaller trophies more. Mario Lemieux is current co-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jaromir Jagr – Ageless Hair God
Jaromir Jagr was drafted by the Pens 5th overall in 1990 NHL Draft. He played 11 seasons with the Penguins and he won 2 Stanley Cups with the Pens. Jagr have won 5 Art Ross Trophies and 1 Hart Memorial Trophy. Jagr has been played 9 different teams at NHL and he owns many NHL records. At the age 48, Jagr is still playing in his home country Czech Republic.
Sydney Crosby – “Sid the Kid”
It is hard to compare different time NHL players, but Sydney Crosby is widely regarded as one of the greatest hockey players – at least in modern hockey era. Crosby has been played his whole career with the Pens (14 seasons). He has 3 Stanley Cups, 2 Hart Trophies, 2 Conn Smythe Trophies and many smaller trophies more. Crosby is current captain of the Pens.