I’ll never forget the day then-Penguins GM Craig Patrick chose defenseman Brooks Orpik with the 18th overall pick at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.
Having been fed a steady diet of Robert Domes, Milan Krafts, and Konstantin Koltsovs the selection of Orpik signaled an abrupt change in the Pens’ drafting philosophy.
“In the past, we haven’t emphasiz [...]
In the wake of Ray Shero’s dismissal in May, Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle repeatedly stressed the need to add more grit and character to their hockey team.
On the first day of free agency new GM Jim Rutherford devised a novel approach for addressing that need. He let the Pens’ grit-and-character guys bolt.
In a mass depa [...]
With the NHL free agent signing period set to begin July 1, here’s a list of Penguins free agents by category.
Unrestricted free agents (such as Jussi Jokinen and Matt Niskanen) may sign with any team without compensation. Under certain conditions restricted free agents may sign with other teams. The Pens then would receive compensation in t [...]
While watching the Penguins fall to the Rangers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Tuesday night my friend and boss, Dave Wright, turned to me and said, “The Pens are missing something, aren’t they?”
Truer words were never spoken.
It wasn’t that our boys didn’t give their all. Unlike Games 5 and 6, when the Pens’ battle level w [...]
Paced by two-point efforts from superstars Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, the Penguins outclassed the fading New York Rangers, 4-2, on Wednesday night to grab a commanding 3-1 lead in their second-round series. Despite losing defenseman Brooks Orpik late in the first period to an apparent knee injury, the black and gold limited the Rangers [...]
Having posted consecutive shutouts against the stubborn New York Rangers, Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has received tons of praise, and deservedly so. “Flower” is enjoying by far his best postseason since 2009, when he helped the Pens win the Cup.
The oft-maligned defense deserves some love, too. As a group they’ve been nothing short of [...]
Maybe it’s too early to ponder that question. There are a lot more games to be won before the Penguins can dream of hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Yet there are reasons to believe. Remember Game 3, when the Pens were reeling from an overtime loss and Columbus had them in an early hole? Instead of folding like a cheap suit, our boys stung the Blue [...]
WOW. That was my initial reaction to the Penguins’ stunning 4-3 win over Columbus in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Monday night.
After spotting the Blue Jackets an early two-goal lead, the Pens erupted for four goals in the final 20 minutes and change to snatch a dramatic victory from the jaws of certain defeat. Just as im [...]
As the star-crossed 2013-14 season mercifully draws to a close, there’s one question on the mind of every black-and-gold fan. Are the Penguins legitimate Stanley Cup contenders?
It sure is hard to tell. Talk about a roller coaster. On March 30 the Pens hammered Chicago with a lethal combination of ferocity and skill. Two nights later they rol [...]
What a difference a year makes. Eleven months ago Penguins fans were dancing in the streets following GM Ray Shero’s blockbuster deadline deals for Jarome Iginla, Jussi Jokinen, Brenden Morrow, and Douglas Murray.
And this season? Not so much.
Shero tried to add some glitter. He vigorously pursued Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler, only to be rebuffed. [...]