LINDBERG JOINS PENGUINS (FOR REAL)

The way Tobias Lindberg became a Penguin was… unorthodox. Part of a trade last February that saw him dealt by Vegas to Pittsburgh, Lindberg was swept up in a 24-hour whirlwhind that ultimately kept him exactly where he already was.

When the dust settled, Lindberg remained with Vegas’ AHL affiliate on loan and played out the rest of the season with the Chicago Wolves.

“When the general manager (Jim Rutherford) called me, he said to me, ‘This is a very complicated trade, one that I’ve never seen before,’” Lindberg recalled of the day he was technically dealt to the Penguins. “I didn’t try to let it bother me. I didn’t want to think about it too much. I’m just going to go crazy. I said whatever you guys want me to do, I’ll do it.”

For the time, that meant staying with a different club’s AHL affiliate, but Rutherford has since made it clear that what they want Lindberg to do is be a part of the Penguins’ future.

Lindberg re-signed with Pittsburgh prior to development camp, suggesting that he’s in their plans as a prospect. He might be skating for the Steel City someday, but he’s likely to stop in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton first. The Swedish forward is totally game for a stint in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

“To me, it doesn’t matter where I play. I just want to play a lot,” Lindberg said. “You see [Pittsburgh] has a lot of young guys that come up from Wilkes-Barre. When I was playing in Toronto, we played Wilkes-Barre and saw they always had a good team. If Wilkes-Barre is where I play, I’ll be fortunate to play there. Hopefully, I take on a leading role and play a lot.”

That most recent trade is just another chapter in what has been an eventful career for Lindberg. He has been traded three different times, once from Ottawa to Toronto, then Toronto to Vegas, and most recently Vegas to Pittsburgh, he won a Memorial Cup before turning pro, and has six NHL games under his belt already, too. All of these experiences have made Lindberg much more mature than your average 22-year-old.

“I still look at myself as a young player, even though I’ve packed in a lot in a few years,” he said. “It’s been a lot of trades, a lot of new cities, a lot of new teammates, a lot of injuries. I feel like I’ve learned to be more calm and work on getting a little better every summer and every day, I’m going to play in the NHL some day.”

Even if his path to the show has been full of sharp turns and changes in direction, maybe he can fully realize that dream now that he’s officially a Penguin.

Season ticket packages for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 20th season, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.  For more info on season ticket packages, fill in the form below, and a Penguins representative will contact you directly.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

MILETIC BRINGS HARD WORK, SCORING TOUCH TO PENS

Sam Miletic scored a lot of goals the season before the Pittsburgh Penguins signed him as an undrafted free agent. Sam Miletic scored even more goals the season after the Pittsburgh Penguins signed him as an undrafted free agent.

His impressive offensive figures and all-around demeanor have Penguins brass extremely excited for what he can bring to the table.

“The biggest thing with Sam is his attention to detail,” said Penguins development coach Jarrod Skalde. “He already looks like a pro. He conducts himself like a pro. You can see how he pays attention on the ice to all the little things.”

In typical hockey fashion, Miletic credits his offense to playing with quality teammates in both London and Niagara, but don’t let his soft-spoken humbleness mislead you into thinking he’s shy on talent. His shot explodes off his stick and packs a mighty punch. He’s also shown a willingness to drive to the front of the net with or without the puck.

As his skills developed and his scoring touch blossomed as an undrafted free agent in the Ontario Hockey League, Miletic became a prospect that Pittsburgh couldn’t ignore any more.

“We were so impressed with him last year, that’s why we signed him to the entry-level deal,” Skalde added. “We’re really excited to have him. He seems like a guy that’s already pro-ready.”

Miletic happily accepts any compliments that Skalde, reporters or fans will give him, but he’s always quick to try and deflect accolades to his teammates. That being said, he has no interest in taking a back seat to anyone at this year’s training camp. He’s determined to make coaches and anyone else notice him, one way or another.

“[Pittsburgh] seems to appreciate guys that work hard,” Miletic. “So I’m going to come into the season with that mindset, just like last year, and control what I can control.”

Season ticket packages for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s 20th season, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.  For more info on season ticket packages, fill in the form below, and a Penguins representative will contact you directly.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

KOSTOPOULOS’ INFLUENCE BEING FELT BY D’ORIO, ALMARI

Tom Kostopoulos’ playing career might be over, but his legacy among teammates is going to live on for a long, long time. The long-time Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins captain has had his praises sung by more than a handful of Pittsburgh’s back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions in 2016 and 2017, and his name has been brought up by the prospects at development camp this week, as well.

Both Alex D’Orio and Niclas Almari mentioned Kostopoulos as a huge influence unprompted at different times during their media availability at the UMPC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, Pennsylvania. It’s natural to understand why players that ascended from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to eventually getting their names inscribed on Lord Stanley would speak highly of Kostopoulos’ contributions to their development.

But what makes D’Orio and Almari’s comments stand out is the fact that neither of them was a teammate of Kostopoulos’ for more than a month. D’Orio and Almari joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on amateur tryout agreements late in the 2017-18 campaign (D’Orio didn’t even get in a game,) but they both felt compelled to share their stories of the captain’s impact on the start of their professional careers.

“Off the ice, I learned so much with Tom Kostopoulos,” D’Orio said. “How to be a pro, on and off the ice. He played what, 20 years pro? I just looked at him and how he acted, and I tried to lean and be just like him.”

In a different locker room at the opposite side of the hall at the UPMC  Lemieux Sports Complex, Almari echoed D’Orio’s thoughts. Almari also used the phrase “how to be a pro” before running down a laundry list of lessons Kostopoulos taught him during their brief time together.

“Things like how to prepare before games, what to do after games, how to eat, all those small things,” Almari said. “It’s big for young guys to learn.”

“They’re just saying that because I bought them dinner,” Kostopoulos said with a big smile before continuing, “They’re good kids. I’ve said it before, this organization prides itself on bringing in good people. That’s who they keep around. That makes it fun to work with kids like that, and if they appreciate it, it makes you feel really good about yourself.”

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

D’ORIO FACED SHOTS, CHALLENGES LAST SEASON

Alex D’Orio experienced a baptism by fire this past season with the Saint John Sea Dogs. The reigning Québec Major Junior Hockey League champions had their talent pool pillaged by pro graduation and trades. D’Orio no longer had the security blankets of Thomas Chabot, Jakub Zbořil and Simon Bourque playing in front of him, so he faced a ton of shots on a nightly basis.

Imagine what you think qualifies as “a lot of shots”, and then add even more shots on top of that.

“I had sixty saves in sixty minutes,” D’Orio said, recalling a grueling contest on March 4 against the eventual Memorial Cup winners, Acadie-Bathurst Titan. “That’s a game I’m going to remember for a lifetime.”

That’s not cherry-picking one game where the floodgates opened in front of D’Orio, either. There were 15 different instances this season in which Saint John surrendered 40 or more shots while D’Orio was between the pipes. The then-18-year-old goaltender led the QMJHL in shots faced with 1651 (an average of 37.5 per game), and his 1478 saves topped league goaltenders, as well (33.6 per game). However, his save percentage finished below .900 and he only won nine games.

Despite the dramatic drop in his statistics from his draft year to last season, both D’Orio and the Penguins are taking his heavy workload as a blessing in disguise, perhaps even fast-tracking his development.

“It’s part of the junior process being part of a rebuilding team,” D’Orio said. “I received a lot of shots. I learned a lot this year. This year, I learned how to be a starter and how to receive shots… [I learned to] never stop competing. That’s a big thing.”

Goaltending Development Coach Andy Chiodo knows a thing or two about being peppered with shots from his time a professional netminder for 14 seasons. He knows the value of a young goalie getting the kind of experience D’Orio had in Saint John this past year.

“It’s all about how you react to that,” Chiodo said. “If you take it in a way where you improve your game, try to get better, make sure you can handle that workload night in and night out, and whether you get scored on or lose the game, your mindset stays where you’re trying to help your team get better and not get frustrated. Then it can serve you well. If you get frustrated, it wears on you and you start internalizing the losses.

“[D’Orio] has to handle that the right way. For the most part, it sounds like he did.”

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

OLUND LOOKING TO MAKE THE JUMP FROM SWEDEN TO NORTH AMERICA


It may only be June, but Linus Ölund could be sending a message for what’s to come next season.

Ölund was one of the stand-outs during the first ice session at the Pittsburgh Penguins 2018 Development Camp at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry, Pennsylvania. Ölund tormented the Group A goalies by picking the top corner time and time again in every single drill the Penguins prospects partook in on Wednesday. His release was hard and heavy in addition to its accuracy, and he flashed some skill in puckhandling drills, as well.

The Swedish forward certainly passed the eye test in practice, but things might not come as easy once he has to make a big adjustment in-season. Ölund has spent his whole life playing on the expanded ice surface in European rinks. Expected to start the 2018-19 campaign with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, this season will be his first stab at trying to make his game translate to the smaller North American ice surface.

“I don’t think it’s going to be too hard,” Ölund said with some bravado in his tone. “Of course it’s going to take a few games to get to know the ice, but I’m going to use my head a lot when I play.”

Perhaps Ölund’s confidence carried over from his homeland’s surprising showing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Before Ölund took the ice in Cranberry, he and his fellow countrymen at development camp watched Sweden dispatch of Mexico, 3-0, and win their group to advance to the knockout stage for the first time since 2006.

Understandably, the 21-year-old was a little excited by the result.

“We were jumping up and down,” he said. “I wouldn’t think they would go out and get this kind of results, but they kicked out Italy in (qualification) playoffs. Yeah, I’m really happy.”

Sweden’s performance has been fun viewing for fans of all countries, but if Ölund can adjust to North American hockey and play as impressively as he did at the first day of development camp, he should be a joy to watch this season, too.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

HOME AND ROAD JERSEY VOTE ON FACEBOOK

Fans, you helped us figure out the top Military Jersey in Penguins history recently (congrats to the 2011 sweater pictured to the right).  Now we’re looking for your help in selecting the best home or road sweater we’ve worn throughout the years.

There have been 10 different jerseys that have been considered ‘primary’ uniforms for the team over the years.  This is your chance to let us know which one is your favorite.

Preliminary round voting featuring four sweaters (1999 black vs 2007 white; 2007 black vs 2013 white) will get underway on Thursday, June 28 at 10am, and run for 24 hours.  Then, on Friday, June 29 at 10:00am, quarterfinals voting featuring the preliminary round winners, as well as the remaining six jerseys, will get underway.

We’ll take the weekend off, and return to action on Monday, July 2 with final four voting, and the overall winner will be decided in a head-to-head matchup culminating on July 3.

To participate, just head on over to our Facebook page, beginning at 10am on Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Cast your vote in each of the daily polls (remember – there will be multiple polls on three of those days, so vote in them all) and check back to see who advances the next morning.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 20th season home opener is set for Saturday, October 6 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.  The team’s full schedule will be announced in the near future.

Season tickets, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and flex packages, are on sale now, and available by calling the Penguins at 570-208-7367.  For more information, fill in and submit the form at the bottom of this page.

2018-19 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

THE NEW PENGUINS – 2018 NHL DRAFT RECAP


The 2018 NHL Entry Draft took place this weekend in Dallas, Texas. The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the draft without a first round pick, but based on the talent in this year’s prospect pool, team scouts and pundits agreed there would be plenty of promising young players available for the Penguins.

Below are Pittsburgh’s 2018 selections listed in sequential order. Every player has a quick profile and scouting report included in this draft recap so that you can get to know a little more about the newest members of the organization before they likely end up taking the ice for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the future!

 

53rd – CALEN ADDISON: Defenseman, Lethbridge Hurricanes…

With Pittsburgh’s first selection in this year’s draft, they get an elite skater that fell right into its lap in Calen Addison. He has the ability to change directions on a dime, and he covers so much ground in any direction in an instant. Owns some offensive upside too thanks to his shooting ability. Addison has a quick wrister from the blue line that always gets past the first level. Always. This young man is an ace on the power play, as well. He’s a little undersized, but he competes enough to make up several inches in wall battles. However, doesn’t expect him to throw his weight around. Like a lot of young defensemen, his awareness on the defensive side of the game wanes, but he has time to remedy that before he’ll be called upon in Pittsburgh. They likely fell in love with him while keeping tabs on Jordy Bellerive, a Hurricanes teammate that the Penguins added to their prospect pool last year.

 

58th – FILIP HÅLLANDER: Right Wing, Timrå IK…

Pittsburgh traded up to take this player, and you could hear a tinge of excitement in director of scouting Patrik Allvin’s voice when he announced the selection of his fellow Swede. This is an energetic forward who can play wing or center. Filip Hållander relishes the forecheck and crashes the net. Acts as a fearless net-front presence. The Penguins have grown rather fond of Swedish players that play that style over the past few years, haven’t they? (Think Hörnqvist, Hagelin.) He’s a shifty skater skating and owns the puck abilities to possibly become more than a grind-it-out type player. His stride could use some refinement, it can look clunky at times, but he gets long extension from his powerful legs to generate deceptive speed. He shines in the east-west game, too, because of his skills and great edgework. Hållander shouldn’t be relied on to be a particularly creative playmaker, but he won’t make brainless mistakes either. No players were exchanged in the trade with Colorado to move up and take Hållander, by the way. It was only a pick swap.

 

129th – JUSTIN ALMEIDA: Centerman, Moose Jaw Warriors…

Quite some time passed between Pittsburgh’s second and third selections here, but the Penguins hope it was worth the wait as they grab the speedy and skilled Justin Almeida. Pittsburgh continues its trend of drafting over-age players, as Almeida was passed over in last year’s draft. A big reason why he wasn’t selected was his size. He’s thin as a rail and measures five-foot-nine, but his offensive output this season was too tantalizing to pass up. A great way for smaller players to make up for their diminutive size is by being a good skater, and Almeida can skate like the wind. He’s capable of making plays while operating at top speed, and his head can keep up with his feet. The 1999-born centerman possesses good puckhandling ability, but will grab your attention with a devastating shot. That pro-level release is a big reason why he jumped from 11 goals last season to 43 this year.

 

177th – LIAM GORMAN: Centerman, St. Sebastian’s School…

This is a strong young man that plays a gritty game. Every time you watch Liam Gorman, you’re going to see him driving to the front of the net. He scores a lot of his goals in that area around the crease, too. He has explosiveness to his stride, but needs to work on his overall speed. When he’s on top of his game, he excels at digging in the corners, gaining body leverage on opponents and winning possession for his team in the trenches. Gorman will go the collegiate route and is committed to attend Boston University, which surely will endear him to former Terriers Mike Sullivan and Clark Donatelli.

KOSTOPOULOS, CHIODO EXPRESS EXCITEMENT FOR NEW ROLES, WBS MEMORIES

 

Tom Kostopoulos and Andy Chiodo both spent the start of their careers basking in the adoration of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fans. Both players quickly earned the favor of the team’s supporters and became fan favorites, but it was the 2004 Calder Cup Playoffs that the two cemented their legacies with the team.

As Kostopoulos and Chiodo were winning over Penguins fans with their play on the ice, that was around the same time that the fans carved out a special place in the players’ hearts, too. Chiodo says he can still hear the earth-shaking cheers of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton faithful ringing in his head.

“Those are the kind of memories that you just can’t forget,” Chiodo said. “It’s hard to describe. The fans were so engaged. They were so loud, and the energy that we got to experience from the crowd pushed us through those playoffs.”

Their careers eventually veered in different directions following that run to the 2004 Calder Cup Final, but Kostopoulos and Chiodo are back together again on the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey operations staff. On Wednesday, the long-time Penguins captain, Kostopoulos, was hired by Pittsburgh as Player Development Coach, and Chiodo was named Goaltending Development Coach.

“I think this development role will be good for me,” Kostopoulos said. “I’m learning a lot about it already, plus I’m really excited that [Chiodo] is coming in at the same time as me. Being able to work with him after playing with him and being good friends with him for a long time, I think it will be good for us.”

In a way, Kostopoulos was an extension of the Penguins’ development staff for years. Wearing the “C” in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while playing on an American Hockey League contract, Kostopoulos and Pittsburgh had a mutual understanding that even though the veteran still wanted to score as many goals and win as many games as he could while his playing career was still active, he was to mentor the younger players and help prepare them for the next step in their careers. By all accounts, Kostopoulos thrived in that role as a leader (and his offensive production rarely waned during that time, too.) Current Pittsburgh stand-outs such as Jake Guentzel, Matt Murray, Conor Sheary in addition to likely future studs like Dominik Simon and Teddy Blueger all have been vocal advocates of Kostopoulos.

Given his success with helping talented players reach the National Hockey League as a locker room leader, it’s easy to understand why everyone in Pittsburgh felt that Kostopoulos would be a perfect fit as a development coach. The man himself agrees with that assessment, too.

“My role kind of evolved to where I was trying to do everything I could to help those younger players while at the same time competing,” Kostopoulos said. “Pittsburgh has drafted really good players, but to say something like I had even a small role in helping them get to the NHL means a lot. Now, I pick up off that, I get to be on the other side of it.”

Chiodo’s playing career didn’t last quite as long as Kostopoulos’ epic 19 seasons, but he had already carved himself out a niche as a broadcaster in Toronto before stepping into a coach’s role last year. After one season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s, Chiodo departed to rejoin the organization that gave him his start in pro hockey. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton fan darling plans on using his experience as goaltending coach with the 67’s in his new role with the black and gold.

“Every time I was in Ottawa, I felt like I learned something,” Chiodo said. “I had a great staff in Ottawa. Whether it was during individual meetings, the way they handled their video, the way they prepared for games, the way we all responded after games, I was absorbing it all. I think it was an ongoing process that I really enjoyed and I am grateful for.”

Kostopoulos and Chiodo’s jobs will take them across the continent, following draft picks and other prospects in the professional, collegiate and junior hockey ranks. Part of the appeal of the position is that you’re not quite as fully inundated in as season as one would be as a player. This made it attractive to Kostopoulos, who has made it perfectly clear that he wants to spend time with his family in retirement.

Furthermore, Kostopoulos, Chiodo, and Pittsburgh’s other development coach, Jarrod Skalde, are all based out the greater Toronto area. They won’t have to go far to congregate and discuss Penguins prospects and their progress, and Kostopoulos can still be close to home for his kid’s soccer game or a family movie night.

“Once my kids are finished with school in Dallas, (Pennsylvania,) we’ll be settling back in Ontario,” Kostopoulos said. “I think it’s a hub to travel and see Penguins prospects, but also get my kids back around their grandparents. It’s an exciting position for my whole family, and I’m looking forward to it.”

Of course, the job also requires frequent visits to Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and Wheeling. Kostopoulos and Chiodo will mostly be confined to the press box and coaches’ offices, but if you happen to cross paths with one of them in the halls of Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, feel free to say hello. Even though they’re hockey ops now, they still feel the connection made as players with Penguins fans.

“I have such fond memories of the fans, the organization and that time period in my career,” Chiodo said. “The time that I had in Wilkes-Barre is something that I really remember in a fond way, and I’m excited to go back.”

FORMER WBS PENGUIN ORPIK CAPTURES SECOND STANLEY CUP


Defenseman Brooks Orpik captured his second Stanley Cup, as the Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights, four games to one, in the National Hockey League’s championship series.

Orpik, 37, began his professional career with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, recording 38 points (6+32) and 206 penalty minutes in 152 games over parts of three seasons (2001-04).

Originally drafted by Pittsburgh with the 18th overall selection in the 2000 Entry Draft, Orpik was a member of the Penguins 2009 Stanley Cup team.

There has been at least one former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins player with his name engraved on the Stanley Cup in eight of the past 10 seasons.


2009 – PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

  • Dan Bylsma (head coach)
  • Mike Yeo (assistant coach)
  • Marc-Andre Fleury
  • Tyler Kennedy
  • Kris Letang
  • Brooks Orpik
  • Alex Goligoski
  • Miroslav Satan
  • Rob Scuderi
  • Max Talbot

2011 – BOSTON BRUINS

  • Andrew Ference

2012 – LOS ANGELES KINGS

  • Rob Scuderi

2013 – CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

  • Daniel Carcillo
  • Michal Rozsival

2015- CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

  • Daniel Carcillo
  • Michal Rozsival

2016 – PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

  • Mike Sullivan (head coach)
  • Andy Saucier (video coach)
  • Jim Britt (team services)
  • Patrick Steidle (athletic trainer)
  • Teddy Richards (equipment manager)
  • Brian Dumoulin
  • Marc-Andre Fleury
  • Tom Kuhnhackl
  • Kris Letang
  • Ben Lovejoy
  • Olli Maatta
  • Matt Murray
  • Kevin Porter
  • Bryan Rust
  • Conor Sheary
  • Jeff Zatkoff

2017 – PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

  • Mike Sullivan (head coach)
  • Andy Saucier (video coach)
  • Jim Britt (team services)
  • Patrick Steidle (athletic trainer)
  • Josh Archibald
  • Brian Dumoulin
  • Marc-Andre Fleury
  • Jake Guentzel
  • Tom Kuhnhackl
  • Olli Maatta
  • Matt Murray
  • Carter Rowney
  • Bryan Rust
  • Conor Sheary
  • Scott Wilson

2018 – WASHINGTON CAPITALS

  • Brooks Orpik

MILITARY JERSEY VOTING BRACKET

Penguins fans, as we approach our 20th season, we thought it would be a good time to find out which of our numerous jerseys you like best.

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be (June5-15), we’ll be taking your votes in our first bracket, featuring our military themed and USA inspired jerseys.  The jersey matches were randomly selected for the Pre-Game and Quarter-Finals rounds.  It’s up to you to vote for your favorites and get them to the next round.
The Pre-Game round will run from 1:00pm on June 5 through 1:00pm on June 7; the Quarter-Finals go from 1:00pm on June 7 through 1:00pm on June 9; the Semi-Finals will start at noon on Monday, June 11, and run through noon on Friday, June 15; and the Final will run from noon on June 18 through noon on June 20.
For a closer look at the Military Jerseys, and all of our sweaters throughout the years, check out our Jersey History Page.