The voting on the opening round has concluded, and the field of 56 has been narrowed to 32. No byes are built-in anymore, so the top 2 seeds in each bracket now much earn their way forward. Some easy to hate options have been left by the wayside, including Jeremy Jacobs, Jim Balsillie, and Jeremy Roenick among others. But there are plenty of great candidates moving forward to vie for the title of Biggest Pens Villain, and this week's voting will cut the field down to 16. Make sure to check out @PensInitiative's twitter timeline throughout the week to vote for who you think should move on to the next round.
Bettman Bracket - Monday, March 14
Biggest Blowout: Scott Hartnell (91%) over Rick Tocchet (9%)
Closest Contest: Garry Valk (50%) vs Stephane Quintal (50%)
The first bracket of the tourney produced the first tie - Garry Valk and Stephane Quintal received an equal number of votes in the opening round, and it went down to a runoff vote where Quintal prevailed with 56% of the vote. John Vanbiesbrouck narrowly defeated Steve Downie with 52% of the vote, but the rest of the winners all moved on with at least 60% of the vote. Gary Bettman and Marc Staal join the fray for this round, and it's going to be harder to runaway with the vote in progressive rounds as the the more hated options rise to the top.
Dubinsky Bracket - Tuesday, March 15
Biggest Blowout: Claude Giroux (87%) over Jim Balsillie (13%)
Closest Contest: Craig Adams (52%) over Jeremy Jacobs (48%)
It's not surprising that Claude Giroux moved onto the next round given that he plays for the Philadelphia Flyers, but it's a bit surprising that he won by the margin he did against Jim Balsillie, the Blackberry CEO who tried buying the Penguins and moving the team to Hamilton, Ontario. But it was a current owner who, while repugnant in his behavior, was not able to move past whipping boy Craig Adams. Brandon Dubinsky and Pierre McGuire will join the 6 winners from the opening round, and it's hard not to like their chances of going far.
Milbury Bracket - Wednesday, March 16
Biggest Blowout: John Tortorella (73%) over David Steckel (27%)
Closest Contest: Eugene Melnyk (52%) over Marian Hossa (48%)
It's the only bracket without a runaway blowout, but John Tortorella, David Volek (72%), and Shane Doan (72%) all won by almost identical margins. It was an interesting outcome, as it showed that Pens fans aren't nearly as over Marian Hossa (48%) despite beating him for the Stanley Cup the next season as they have gotten past David Steckel (27%) for nearly ending Sidney Crosby's career. It's a strong bracket moving forward, and it'll only get strong as Mike Milbury and Alexander Ovechkin join the mix.
Scuderi Bracket - Thursday, March 17
Biggest Blowout: Zac Rinaldo (93%) over Petr Svoboda (7%)
Closest Contest: Brad Marchand (57%) over Jeremy Roenick (43%)
The bracket lost a big name in the opening round as Jeremy Roenick's antics on national television as a broadcaster for NBC wasn't enough to move him past Brad Marchand. It's not surprising that Zac Rinaldo moved on, given his status as one of the biggest goons in the game and the fact that he built that reputation as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. David Morehouse (59%) was the only person currently associated with the Penguins organization to move on to the next round. It's fitting that he's in this bracket, as a couple of ex-Penguins who left the team earlier this season, Rob Scuderi and Mike Johnston, will join the bracket for the quarterfinals.