As our Penguins prepare to square off with the Philadelphia Flyers tonight in the latest installment of “The Battle of Pennsylvania,” it occurred to me that many younger fans may not understand or fully appreciate the deeply rooted hatred between the two clubs. Especially considering that it’s a kinder, gentler Flyers team we face these days. [...]
Over the course of their storied 50-year-history, the Penguins have iced all sorts of hockey teams. From the sublime to the hapless…and worse.
They’ve literally come in all shapes and sizes. Different colors, too. Until January 1980, the team sported Columbia blue, navy blue and white.
Thus, I decided to break with the present and write [...]
September 29, 1973. Brantford (Ontario) Civic Centre. The Pittsburgh Penguins squared off against their arch-nemesis—the truculent St. Louis Blues—in an NHL exhibition game.
Early in the second period all hell broke loose. The Pens’ pint-sized policeman Bryan Watson—an early version of Bobby Farnham—was hunched forward into the wheelhouse of [...]
It might come as a surprise for Penguins fans to learn that a Hall-of-Fame defenseman skated for the team in the mid-to-late 1970s. No, it wasn’t shot-blocker extraordinaire Dave Burrows or even Norris Trophy winner Randy Carlyle. His name was Bob Paradise, and he was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989.
He wasn’t the best player to don a Penguins jersey. Not by a long shot. But few players in the history of the National Hockey League ever generated more press—or cultivated a more loyal following—than Edward Steven Phillip Shack.
Born of hearty Ukrainian stock, Shack grew up in Sudbury, Ontario. As a teenager he worked in a coal mine and a lo [...]
In the annals of Penguins history, perhaps no player cultivated a more fearsome reputation—or earned a more colorful nickname—than left wing Bob “Battleship” Kelly.
“Kelly was the guy who took care of everybody,” former Pens teammate Rick Kehoe recalled. “He was our enforcer.”
Fighting was his stock in trade, and few players of his era did it [...]