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 [...]
Somewhere Craig Patrick must be smiling. Not an arrogant, misery-loves-company smile. More of a rueful, knowing grin.
Aside from Mario Lemieux, no one did more to save the Pittsburgh Penguins than Patrick. He literally dragged the franchise from the gutter of mediocrity in the early 1990s and willed it onto a championship course. However, fol [...]
In nature everything runs in cycles. Seasons change from winter to spring to summer to fall, and back again. The same holds true in sports. Championship teams are cultivated and nurtured through a combination of drafts, trades and free-agent signings until they peak. Then they gradually diminish until they enter a rebuilding phase.
Only three [...]
As a member of the illustrious draft class of 1990 that included Penguins prodigy Jaromir Jagr, Robert Lang was projected to be a star. Indeed, the Teplice, Czechoslovakia native possessed all the tools. A smooth, powerful skater, the 6’3” 217-pounder had excellent vision and an exquisite touch, both for passing and shooting.
While Lang event [...]
It’s somehow fitting that former Penguins defenseman Jim Johnson played his college hockey for the University of Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs. Indeed, the undersized defenseman displayed bulldog tenacity while carving out a solid 13-year NHL career.
Although he enjoyed an outstanding collegiate career, Johnson was bypassed in the Entry Draft. Fo [...]
In the wake of the Penguins’ recent loss to the Flyers, I was struck by the pronounced difference in the makeup of the teams. While the Pens’ lineup was generously stocked with 30-somethings (nine to be exact), Philly featured a bevy of talented young forwards who are in their early twenties, including NHL scoring leader Claude Giroux, Sean C [...]
Well it’s the final regular season game at the Igloo tonight and there are 50 some plus players from Pittsburgh hockey lore that will be at the arena for a very special presentation and it’s fan appreciation night so on top of the many giveaways, at the end of the game the Penguin players will be giving fans the jersey’s rig [...]
With all of the trades around the NHL right now, most by two “Old School” GM’s Brian Burke & Darryl Sutter, it would be easy for Ray Shero to get caught up in the madness and trade away the Penguins future for another shot at winning the Cup. A little Pittsburgh Penguins history lesson might cure him of that and hopefull [...]