August 2016 - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

.@NHLFlyers Ruin Your Lunch, Unveil New Jersey

12:50:00 PM 0
Much like the Penguins, their illegitimate brother are celebrating their 50th birthday.  As such the Flyers have revealed their 50th anniversary jersey and it's... well... it's a thing.

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Monday, August 29, 2016

NBC Moves Time of Season Opener

2:27:00 PM 0
NBC is flexing its scheduling muscles for the Penguins season opener on October 13th by changing the start time, to no ones surprise.  A former 7pm start will now be 8pm on NBC Sports Network.

Not only will the first game of the season be pushed back an hour, it'll be the start of a year long celebration of the team's 50th year in existence.  An already important game against the hated Capitals, a team they unceremoniously dumped from the playoffs in six games, is now amplified by the prime time setting.

Not only will the Capitals undoubtably re-live their newest playoff disappointment via video montage, they'll be forced to see the Penguins celebrate their fourth Stanley Cup Final victory as the banner raising will be televised nationally.

The Penguins will defend their championship with preseason games beginning September 27th as well as regular season games starting October 13th.  Their special 50th anniversary promotional schedule is packed with remembrances from year's past and can be found here.
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Prolonged Recovery from Surgery May Delay Kessel's Season

12:03:00 PM 0

#ThreeWordsToRuinYourDay: No Phil Kessel

This simple, yet concerning, hash tag may actually come to reality as word has broke that right winger, Phil Kessel, is still rehabbing his hand after having to undergo surgery after the Stanley Cup final. Depending on the severity and length of time needed to recover, Kessel is indeed in jeopardy of missing not only training camp, but the start of the 2016-2017 NHL hockey season.

At 6 feet tall and 203 pounds, he scored 26 goals in 82 appearances in his first year with the Pittsburgh Penguins and amassed 59 points. In his career, Kessel has 273 goals and 579 NHL points in 750 games played. These numbers are likely the reason the Penguins organization is not rushing his recovery as they would like one of the team's most popular skaters to be back in top form before seeing ice time again.

What could this mean for the team going forward into the season and a home opener against the rival Washington Capitals? The Penguins are lucky as they have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to bear some of the load and allow Kessel the recovery time he needs not to mention the plethora of young talent in wingers Bryan Rust and Conor Sheary, along with the dynamic Patric Hornqvist to balance the top six in goal scoring.

It will be interesting to see who the call up will be to fill the spot in the "bottom six" should Kessel need more time. Moving a winger up to the "HBK Line" leaves a slot in the bottom six for what should be the return of Daniel Sprong. However, Sprong is currently nursing his own injury and will not see action for a while due to that fact.

So who could be the next man up?

The Penguins have a few options, one of which being Josh Archibald. In the 2015-2016 regular season with the Wilkes-Barre Scanton Penguins, Archibald had 9 goals and 9 assists in 69 games. He also scored during the Baby Penguins chase for the Calder Cup Championship.

Another option, though unlikely, would be the spitfire Patrick McGrath. He was called up from the Wheeling Nailers and went right to work making a name for himself, not by goals scored, but by his flying fists of fury. His hot temper and lack of scoring makes him a long shot for a call up but the option is there if needed.

The Penguins do, thankfully, have more players available at their disposal thanks to off-season acquisitions that they could utilize once they have been given the once over at training camp.

At this point we can only speculate what could happen if it would need to happen at all. For now, we play the waiting game and wish a full (and somewhat speedy) recovery to the legendary Phil Kessel.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Best of Times by @pghgirl15222

5:05:00 PM 0


It’s almost September. Nothing tastes better than a pumpkin spiced latte (sorry) while walking into an ice rink in September to watch some hockey. Nothing. It’s an automatic chill that goes all the through your body when you realize you are on the verge of another hockey season.

And we are almost there. While we were luckier than most (Stanley Cup Championsssss) the off season has still felt impossibly long. It always does. Yet here we are, and we have a lot to look forward to.

We have a roster that has barely changed, a coach who is has transformed the team  into one that cannot be caught, and a group of players with talent that will only get deeper now that they are injury free. 

They also have a bond that can’t be broken. If you look at the team as a whole they are about as close as they have been. Winning does that to you but so does adversity. To fight through what they fought through in October, November and December and come out on top says a lot about the group of men in that locker room.

So grab your jersey, a beverage and get excited for another hockey of season. And let’s remember, slow starts in October do not doom a team.

Oh, and in Sullivan we trust. 
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Thursday, August 18, 2016

You Didn't Know Ray Walker, but You Should Have by @Nick422

11:53:00 AM 0
A week and a half ago, without much attention or notice, the Pittsburgh Penguins lost an invaluable member of their family.  You knew his voice and you know his work, you just don't realize it.  That man was Ray Walker, Executive Producer of the Penguins Radio Network.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Penguins Re-Sign Matt Cullen by @Medina_Marie17

5:08:00 PM 1

The Pittsburgh Penguins have (finally) announced that they have resigned veteran, Matt Cullen, to a one-year contract. The deal is worth $1 million. Since being drafted in 1996 by the Anaheim Ducks, he has compiled 658 career points in 1,294 games.

Cullen was an integral part of the Penguins line up all season, taking on many roles when the team was plagued by the injury bug. Upon the Penguins winning the Stanley Cup in June, he became a 2-time champion (he won his first Cup wit the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006).

In the 2015-2016 season, Cullen tallied 16 goals (his most since 2009) , 16 assists and 32 points. He also played in all of the Penguins 82 games in the regular season.

He has been one of the Penguins most consistent players this past season and put up two game winning goals against the New York Rangers during the opening round of 2016 NHL Playoffs. He also became a reliable on the face off (a 55.7% success rate in the regular season) and on the penalty kill.

Welcome back, Matt Cullen!

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sudden Death is on HBO Go/HBO NOW

1:03:00 PM 4
It's the middle of summer and you're still basking in the glow of a Penguins Stanley Cup win.  That's all well and good but with the World Cup of Hockey approaching and over two months without hockey, you may be jonesing for some white hot Penguins action.  Fear not, HBO has you covered.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

What Would You Do? by @Medina_Marie17

12:01:00 PM 6

As the summer slowly winds down, we find ourselves grasping more and more for just a taste of hockey. Binge watching movies like The Mighty Ducks, Slapshot, and Miracle over and over have become the norm as we tick off the days until training camp opens and preseason begins.

Penguin fans have it a little easier. Fans from across the world watch Twitter and Instagram like their lives depended on it, trying to find out where the Stanley Cup will be next. What player has The Cup, where will public appearances be, can we get a picture with The Cup, etc. and other questions of the like flood the Penguins Twitter feed daily.

Unless you are lucky enough to be a season ticket holder or by some miracle have a day off of work, a chance for fans to even see the  Stanley Cup are far and few between but that doesn't stop fans from day dreaming about what a day with the Stanley Cup would be like? What would they do with it? Where would they take it? What family and friends would be involved?

I posed this question to fans on social media and the amount of replies that came flooding in was staggering. From taking The Cup to the top of mountains, filling it with gourmet macaroni and cheese, and other wild and crazy ideas, there was no lack of imagination from these faithful fans.

Below are compiled just a sampling of what fans had to say if they got to spend 24 hours with the famed and beloved Stanley Cup.

Pens Army (@PensArmy_):  "If I had 24 hours with The Cup, I would probably take 19,378,461 pictures with it and hug it all day long. I would go for a walk and see my friends around and give them a chance to see the Stanley Cup. Why not do a hockey game where the winner wins Lord Stanley?! I would end my day with The Cup in the pool probably. Not sure the league would be happy about it but hey, am I allowed to have The Cup anyway? Just having The Cup in my arms every second of the day would make me smile."

Brittany Platt, 22, Pittsburgh PA:
"I am a HUGE Pens fan. If I could have the Stanley Cup for one day I would take it and show my friends and family. I would definitely get pictures with it. I would then probably go to the bar and show it off. Let's Go Pens. Stanley Cup Champs 2016!!!"

Jason Kelly, 46, West Bromwich, United Kingdom
"I am a massive Pens fan from the UK. I come over every year to watch the team play. If I had The Cup for one day I would take it for a trip around London, visit Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and even take it on a river trip up the Thames. Then I would finish the night at a pub, singing karaoke songs to Lord Stanley. #UkPensBarmyArmy"

Tyler Harlow, Chicago IL:
" I would take it to all the local hockey rinks for all the kids to see. After that, bring it to Children's Hospital for them and their families. Next I would bring it to a nearby restaurant for all the locals to see. Then I would take it back to my families house for a cookout and pictures. Finally, when the day was over, I would clean and wash it before giving it back, just like Sid did."

Drew Mine, 37, Baden PA:
"It is weird that I am writing about what I would do with 24-hours with "Lord Stanley" because I had just asked this question to my brother the other day. His response at the time was that he wound't know what he would do. My day with The Cup probably wouldn't be any different than what is going on now. I would definitely take it to Children's Hospital. Then I would just have party in my hometown, charge a fee to have a picture taken with it, then have all the money go towards a charity of my choosing."

Jonathan Smock, Maryland, United States Marines:
"AFTER Medina mentioned I only had 4-7 sentences in which to contribute, I boiled down my answer to something very easy. I would start the morning with eating frosted flakes out of The Cup. I would then take it on a drive up to PA to visit my mom. We would spend the whole day together and she could bask in the glory of The Stanley Cup...and it in hers."

(Writers note: Thanks for making me cry, Jon.)

Paul Clemente (of Pens Initiative):
"On my (fictitious) day with The Cup, it would never leave my side. Selfishly, I would not let anyone else touch it outside of my friends and family. No practical reasons behind that. Additionally, I would take it everywhere I would usually go in my hometown. My favourite bar and drink my favourite beer out of it (Voodoo Love Child by Voodoo Brewing Co.) and maybe schedule appearances at my friend's local businesses to give them a little rub. I would also try and leverage in something with a local wrestling promotion and The Cup because I am a perpetual child with limited ability. And yes, I would totally sleep with it."

John Scanlon, 44, Emsworth PA:
"While I was first introduced to the MHL by attending a Washington Capitals game in 1985, years of playoff failures took its toll on me as a Caps fan. When I moved to Pittsburgh in 1996 from the DC area, I was ready for a chance and switched by loyalty from the Dc teams to the Pittsburgh teams. If I could have a day with the Stanley Cup, my wife and I would gladly take it down to the DC area and show it off, err, I mean rub it in. Also to family and friends since that is the closest they may EVER get to The Cup"

(Writers Note: Savagery!)

Matt Crisson, Bethel Park PA:
" I would bring it to my Mite team's hockey practice and have them play a mini Stanley Cup final game. I would let them all take pictures with it like they won it for real! It would be something they'd never forget. How cool would that be?!"

Medina Menozzi, Pittsburgh PA:
"Truth be told, I would probably do some of the same things everyone else is doing. Visiting children in the hospital and at local rinks during practice so they all could get pictures, show it off to family and friends, maybe a parade or two. I think the fun thing I would do with it would be to get a bunch of my pageant queen friends together at Kennywood (all in our crowns and sashes) and fill The Cup with as much Potato Patch fries as possible (topped with bacon and cheese of course), and go to town on it while taking as many silly pictures as possible. At the end of the day, I would toast to another successful season and pray that it would be right back here a year later"

Reading what everyone had to say and what they would do with the Stanley Cup was hilarious and fun. Penguin fans sure are colourful when it comes to what their idea's of Fun with the Cup would be. What would you do with 24-hours with the Stanley Cup? Feel free to post below and let me know. I would love to hear your ideas.

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