He wasn’t the winningest general manager in Penguins history. Nor did his teams capture a Stanley Cup. Or even a division title. Yet Jack Riley was a pivotal figure through the Pens’ difficult early years. Thanks, in large part, to his perseverance and dedication, a foundation for future champions was formed.
Riley, who passed away on Wednes [...]
I can write this now without fear of jinxing our guys. Throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs and, especially, during the Finals, I’ve felt an odd sense of calm. As if our Penguins were somehow predestined or preordained to win the Cup.
A notion reinforced yesterday morning at church. Following the service, I stopped to greet associate pastor an [...]
The history of the Pittsburgh Penguins is filled with anomalies and precursors.
Consider, for example, the strange case involving three of the team’s brightest stars—Michel Briere, Mario Lemieux, and Sidney Crosby. If you add the uniform numbers of Briere (21) and Mario (66), it equals Sid’s 87.
Stuff like that.
Along those lines, the paths [...]
Flash back with me, if you will, to last Friday night. At the risk of wearing out a familiar theme, I approached my good friend, Tom Blanciak, who was gazing up at one of the Pennsbury Pub and Grille’s big-screen TVs. Shortly after the Penguins dropped Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup to Tampa Bay in thoroughly dismal f [...]
I’ll be honest. Jim Rutherford wasn’t my choice to succeed Ray Shero as the Penguins’ general manager back in the summer of 2014.
I’m not sure he was the Pens’ top choice, either. The club was considering associate GM Jason Botterill and analyst Pierre McGuire, among others, before JR emerged—seemingly from left field—to win the job.
Now? It [...]
In Ray we trust.
Remember that axiom? Indeed, it wasn’t all that long ago that former Penguins (and current Devils) general manager Ray Shero was the toast of the town. Back when he regularly fleeced his GM brethren (Chris Kunitz for Ryan Whitney). Moves that earned him General Manager of the Year honors in 2013. Before a string of playoff di [...]