Pittsburgh Penguins

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The Pittsburgh Penguins play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference.

The franchise was founded in 1967 as one of the first expansion teams during the league’s original expansion from six to twelve teams.

The Penguins have played in Mellon Arena since their first season, and will move into their new arena, Consol Energy Center, in time for the 2010–11 NHL season.

The Penguins won the Stanley Cup in the 2009 playoffs defeating the defending Champions, Detroit Red Wings, in a dramatic 7th game win.

They have 2 other Cup wins in their history, winning back to back Championships in 1991 and 1992, for a total of 3 Stanley Cups.

The team has a long-standing rivalry with fellow Pennsylvania team the Philadelphia Flyers and has a developing rivalry with the Washington Capitals.

The Mario Lemieux era: 1984–1997
With the first overall pick in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft Pittsburgh selected Quebec Major Junior Hockey League superstar Mario Lemieux. He paid dividends right away, scoring on the first shot of his first shift in his first NHL game.

They drafted Czech right-winger Jaromir Jagr in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, and then paired with Mario Lemieux as the league’s biggest one-two scoring threat.

In 1993, Lemieux was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. Only two months after the diagnosis, his comeback was one of the league’s great “feel-good” stories of all time, missing 24 out of 84 games, but winning his fourth Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion with 160 points scored, edging out Pat LaFontaine and Adam Oates for the award.

Lemieux retired in 1997. The captaincy was formally passed to Jagr and for the next 4 seasons, Jagr won 4 consecutive Art Ross Trophies.

Lemieux later shocked the hockey world by deciding to come back as a player who was also the owner of the team he played for. He returned to the ice on December 27, 2000, becoming the first player-owner in NHL history. Lemieux helped lead the Penguins deep into the 2001 playoffs, highlighted by an overtime victory against the Buffalo Sabres in Game 7 of the second round. Kasparaitis scored the series-clinching goal to advance the Penguins to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they lost in 5 games to the New Jersey Devils.

With tough years early in the 2000′s, missing the playoffs four consecutive years from 2001-02 to 2004-05 (excluding the lockout year of 2004-05), and seeing stars traded to help cut costs, the Pittsburgh Penguins had the opportunity to draft star caliber players like goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. They also drafted future stars Evgeni Malkin in the 2004 draft and Sidney Crosby in 2005.

If the Pens can keep all of their star talent under the salary cap they’ll be a contender each year in the Eastern Conference and for the Stanley Cup too.

1st Round Draft Picks
 

Franchise Scoring Leaders

Year # Player Player
G
A
Pts
2009 30 Simon Despres Mario Lemieux
690
1,033
1,723
2008 Traded to Atlanta Jaromir Jagr
439
640
1,079
2007 20 Angelo Esposito Rick Kehoe
312
324
636
2006 2 Jordan Staal Ron Francis
144
449
613
2005 1 Sidney Crosby Jean Pronovost
316
287
603
2004 2 Evgeny Malkin Kevin Stevens
260
295
555
2003 1 Marc-Andre Fleury Syl Apps Jr.
151
349
500
2002 5 Ryan Whitney Martin Straka
165
277
442
2001 21 Colby Armstrong Paul Coffey
108
332
440
2000 18 Brooks Orpik Ron Schock
124
280
404