NHL Team Guide: Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the NHL in 1967 as part of the league’s expansion from six to twelve teams. The city of Pittsburgh had a team called the Pirates in the NHL from 1925 to 1930. Hockey didn’t return until the 1967-68 season.
The Penguins struggled early on and didn’t record a winning season until 1974-75. Pittsburgh never won a division title until the 1990-91 team that won the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.
Fans of the Penguins can watch them on TV on NBC and NBCSN when the team plays on a national broadcast. Regional games are on TV on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh. Hardcore fans that want to watch the Penguins complete NHL schedule can do so via live stream with the AT&T SportsNet app.
Like the rest of the expansion teams in 1967, the Penguins entered the NHL in the West Division. Currently, Pittsburgh is a member of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference along with its biggest rivals Philadelphia and Washington.
The Penguins history early in the NHL was rough. Pittsburgh qualified for the playoffs in just their third season in the league, but never advanced past a semifinal until 1991. Led by the great Mario Lemieux, the Penguins won their first Stanley Cup in 1990-91 and followed it up with their second a year later.
Pittsburgh has a total of five Stanley Cup titles (1991, 1992, 2009, 2016, and 2017). The franchise has won six conference championships and eight division titles. Since entering the league in 1967, Pittsburgh has qualified for the playoffs 33 times.
Pittsburgh played in its original home, the Civic Center, up until the 2009-10 season when the team moved into the Consol Energy Center which was renamed the PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins still play at PPG Paints Arena, which seats 18,387 for hockey games.
Lemieux was one of the game’s greatest of all-time. He is Pittsburgh’s all-time leading scorer with 1,723 points. He was limited to out of a possible 1,430 regular season games. Lemieux was dominant winning the Lester Pearson Award (most outstanding player) four times, the Hart Trophy (regular season MVP) three times, the Art Ross Trophy (leading scorer) six times, and the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) twice. Lemieux never played in every game of a single season during his 17 years with the Penguins. These days, he is one of the franchise’s principal owners.
In 2005, the Penguins selected Sidney Crosby with the first pick in the NHL draft. Crosby has played his entire 15-year career in Pittsburgh and is now second to Lemieux on the franchise’s scoring list. Crosby has 450 goals and 1,216 points. Like Lemieux, Crosby has a list of awards that will one day put him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He is a three-time Stanley Cup champion and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP twice (2016, 2017). He has won two Hart Trophies, two Art Ross trophies, two Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophies, and three Ted Lindsay Awards. Crosby is only 32 and still has some years left.
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Author: Dan Anderson