Pittsburgh Penguins

  Pittsburgh Penguins  


Pittsburgh Penguins Team Formation

The 1967 NHL Expansion depended on securing votes from the then current NHL owners; to ensure that Pittsburgh would be selected for expansion, McGregor enlisted Rooney to petition votes from James D. Norris, owner of the Chicago Blackhawks, and his brother Bruce Norris, owner of the Detroit Red Wings.

The effort was successful, and on February 8, 1966, the National Hockey League awarded an expansion team to Pittsburgh for the 1967 - 1968 season. The Penguins paid $2.5 million ($17.5 million today) for their entry and $750,000 ($5.3 million today) more for start-up costs. The Civic Arena's capacity was then boosted from 10,732 to 12,500 to meet the NHL requirements for expansion. The Pens also paid an indemnification bill to settle with the Detroit Red Wings, who held the rights to the Pittsburgh Hornets. The investor group named McGregor president and chief executive officer, and he represented Pittsburgh on the NHL's Board of Governors.

Mario Lemieux Drafted

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. Mario Lemieux, one of the most highly touted NHL draft picks in history, was due to be drafted in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. Heading towards the end of the season ahead of the New Jersey Devils, who were placed last, the Penguins made a number of questionable moves that appeared to weaken the team in the short-term. The Penguins posted three six-game winless streaks in the last 21 games of the season and earned the right to draft Lemieux amidst protests from Devils management. Pittsburgh coach Lou Angotti later admitted that a conscious decision was made to finish the season as the team with the worst record, stating in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that a mid-season lunch prompted the plan, in light of the fact that there was a high chance of the franchise folding if Lemieux was not drafted. In particular, Angotti gave the example of a game the Penguins were winning 3–1, at which point general manager Eddie Johnston asked the coach "what are you doing?" in the first intermission of the game that was eventually lost 6–3. The Penguins were still, despite losing ten of their last twelve games, only two games away from losing Lemieux to the Devils. However, Angotti stated that he did not feel comfortable with the plan, even though it worked and saved the franchise. Other teams offered substantial trade packages for the draft choice, but the Penguins kept the pick and drafted Lemieux first overall.


The Penguins were simultaneously in the midst of a battle for their survival. Their free spending ways in the early 1990s came with a price; at one point they owed over $90 million to various creditors. Owners Howard Baldwin and Morris Belzberg who bought the Penguins after their first Cup win asked the players to defer their salaries to help pay the bills. When the deferred salaries finally came due, combined with other financial pressures, the Penguins were forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 1998. For much of the 1998 - 1999 season, it looked like the Penguins would either move or fold.

At this point, Lemieux stepped in with an unusual proposal to buy the team out of bankruptcy. By this time, the Penguins owed him $32.5 million in deferred salary, making him the team's largest creditor. He proposed to convert enough of this money into equity to give him controlling interest. He also promised to keep the team in Pittsburgh. The league and the court agreed, and Lemieux, with help from supermarket tycoon Ronald Burkle, assumed control on September 3, 1999 thus saving the franchise for the second time.

Drafting Sidney Crosby

Entering the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Crosby was listed first overall in the NHL Central Scouting Bureau and International Scouting Services' respective rankings of prospects. He had also won the Mike Bossy Trophy as the QMJHL's best prospect. Crosby went on to be selected first overall in the draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins on July 30, 2005. Due to the labour stoppage that suspended the entire 2004 - 2005 NHL season, positioning for the 2005 draft was conducted via a weighted lottery based on each team's playoff appearances and draft lottery victories in the last four years. This lottery system led to the draft being popularly referred to as the Sidney Crosby Lottery or the Sidney Crosby Sweepstakes.

Crosby made his NHL debut on October 5, 2005 against the New Jersey Devils, and registered an assist on the team's first goal of the season, scored by Mark Recchi in a 5–1 loss. He scored his first NHL goal in the Penguins' home opener on October 8 against goaltender Hannu Toivonen of the Boston Bruins. Despite also having registered two assists for a three-point night, the Penguins were defeated 7–6 in overtime. Crosby began his rookie season playing alongside Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux. Unfortunately, Lemieux was forced to retire due to an irregular heartbeat after having played just 26 games of the season.

Consol Energy Center Opens

In 2010 - 2011, the Penguins played their first game in the Consol Energy Center, a loss to their rivals the Philadelphia Flyers. Consol Energy Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The arena is home to both the Pittsburgh Penguins, the city's National Hockey League. The arena replaced the Penguins' former arena, Civic Arena formerly known as Mellon Arena, which was completed in 1961.

Stanley Cup Winners - 4 Stanley Cup Wins

Stanley Cup - 2016
The 2016 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League (NHL)'s 2015–16 season, and the culmination of the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs. This was the 123rd year of the Stanley Cup's presentation. The Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Western Conference champion San Jose Sharks four games to two to win their fourth championship in franchise history (all of them on the road). The Penguins had home ice advantage in the series, being the club with the better regular season record. The series began on May 30, 2016 and concluded on June 12, 2016.[3] This was the first Stanley Cup Final since 2007 to feature a team making their first appearance in the Finals in their club history.

Stanley Cup - 2009
The 2009 Stanley Cup Final was the best-of-seven NHL championship series of the 2009 Stanley Cup playoffs contested between the Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings. It was Detroit's 24th appearance in the Finals and Pittsburgh's fourth appearance in the Finals. This was a rematch of the 2008 Finals where Detroit had defeated Pittsburgh in six games. This time Pittsburgh defeated Detroit four games to three to win their third Stanley Cup in franchise history. Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin would win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the 2009 playoffs, becoming the first Russian-born player to win the trophy.

Stanley Cup - 1992
The 1992 Stanley Cup playoffs, the championship of the National Hockey League (NHL) began on April 18, after the conclusion of the 1991 - 1992 NHL season. It was the 100th anniversary of the first awarding of the Stanley Cup, and it was won by the Pittsburgh Penguins, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks.

Stanley Cup - 1991
The 1991 Stanley Cup Playoffs for the National Hockey League (NHL) championship began on April 3, 1991 following the 1990 - 1991 regular season. The sixteen teams that qualified, from the top four teams of the four divisions, played best-of-seven series with re-seeding after the division finals. The Conference Champions played a best-of-seven series for the Stanley Cup.

Penguins Primary Logo History Penguins Alternate Logo History No Wordmark Logo History


Team Information Team History


Penguins - The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sponsored a name-the-team contest, but Carol McGregor, the wife of one of the franchise's part owners, Jack McGregor, was the one responsible for the nickname. Here is how Carol McGregor came up with the name. "I was thinking of something with a P. And I said to Jack, 'What do they call the Civic Arena?' And he said, 'The Big Igloo.' So I thought, ice ... Pittsburgh ... Penguins." More than 700 of the 26,000 contest entries were for Penguins.

PPG Paints Arena
2016 - present
  • Consol Energy Center
  • 2010 - 2016
Civic Arena
1967 - 2010


Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle
1999 - present
Howard Baldwin, Morris Belzberg, Thomas Ruta, and Roger Marino
1997 - 1999
Howard Baldwin, Morris Belzberg, and Thomas Ruta
1991 - 1997
Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr.
1977 - 1991
Al Savill and Otto Frenzel
1976 - 1977
Al Savill, Otto Frenzel, and Wren Blair
1975 - 1976
National Hockey League
Peter Block, Elmore Keener, and Peter Burchfield
1971 - 1975
Donald Parsons
1968 - 1971
Jack McGregor and Peter Block
1965 - 1968

Established: 1967

League History:
National Hockey League
1967 - present

Team History:
Pittsburgh Penguins
1967 - present

Stanley Cups: 4
2015 - 2016, 2008 - 2009, 1991 - 1992, 1990 - 1991

Retired Numbers:
21 Michel Briere
66 Mario Lemieux
99 Wayne Gretzky

Mascots: 1992 - present

The Official Site of the Pittsburgh Pengiuns

*Red is this team's history

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