PAT McGRATH MINI-CAMP AT THE TOYOTA SPORTSPLEX THIS WEEK


Join current Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Pat McGrath for a two-day minicamp at the Toyota SportsPlex on Thursday, June 28 and Friday, June 29. Hone your skills with the first local-born player in Penguins history!  For more information and registration CLICK HERE!


The Toyota SportsPlex has many other great programs and classes forming this summer, including:

Youth Learn to Skate – For all ages. Session begins Friday, July 13th and runs through Friday, August 31st. Classes are Friday evenings from 6:20pm to 7:20pm (There will be no class August 3rd). For more information and registration CLICK HERE!

Youth Learn to Play – For ages 16 and younger. Session begins Saturday, July 14th and runs through Saturday, September 1st . Classes are Saturday mornings from 8:00am to 9:00am.(There will be no class August 4th).  For more information and registration CLICK HERE!

Adult Skills-n-Drills – For ages 16 and up. Session begins Monday, July 9th and runs through Monday, August 27th. Classes will be held from 8:00 to 9:00pm unless otherwise noted. For more information and registration CLICK HERE!


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

PITTSBURGH NEWS: PENS RE-SIGN LINDBERG, ANNOUNCE PROSPECT CAMP


The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward Tobias Lindberg to a one-year, two-way contract, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

The two-way deal carries an average annual value of $650,000 at the NHL level.

Lindberg, 22, was acquired by the Penguins back on Feb. 23 in the blockbuster three-team deal with Ottawa and Vegas where the Penguins also acquired Derick Brassard. Following the trade, Lindberg remained with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves, Vegas’ minor-league affiliate, for the duration of the season.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden produced 10 goals, 13 assists, 23 points and a plus-8 in 64 contests with the Wolves. He tacked on one assist in two playoff games. Lindberg has spent the majority of the last three seasons in the AHL with Chicago, Binghamton and Toronto, producing 73 points (27G-46A) and a plus-26 in 164 games.

Originally selected by the Ottawa Senators in the fourth round (102nd overall) in 2013, Lindberg has six games of NHL action on his resume, all with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015-16. On March 31, 2016, Lindberg picked up the first of his two NHL assists when he set up a Brooks Laich goal against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Arena, Lindberg’s NHL debut.

Lindberg starred for the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals during his first season in North America in 2014-15. That year, he helped Oshawa win the OHL playoff championship, followed by a Memorial Cup title. Lindberg had five points (3G-2A) in four Memorial Cup appearances, including setting up the title-clinching goal scored by current Tampa Bay Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli.

In regular-season action that year, Lindberg finished second on the team in goals (32) and third in points (78) in 67 contests. Then during the playoffs, he finished third on the club again with 19 points (7G-12A) in 21 appearances.

Lindberg was acquired by the Toronto organization from Ottawa in the 2016 megadeal that saw defenseman Dion Phaneuf swapped from Toronto to Ottawa. Vegas had acquired Lindberg in October of 2017 as part of a package that sent goaltender Calvin Pickard to the Maple Leafs.


The Pittsburgh Penguins will host their annual prospect development camp next week, June 27-29, at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.

Camp will begin with a pair of practices on Wednesday, June 27. Team A hits the ice from 2:15-3:00 PM; Team B follows from 3:15-4:00 PM.

On Friday night, beginning at 7:00 PM, all players will once again be broken into four teams to compete in a 3-on-3 tournament. Earlier that morning, the teams will hold traditional game-day morning skates. Team B skates at 10:30 AM, followed by Team A at 11:30 AM.

Thursday’s practice sessions will be held at 9:45 AM (Team A) and 10:45 AM (Team B and the goalies).

All practices are open to the public free of charge.

The Penguins will release their development camp roster early next week.

As in past years, development camp will feature a variety of off-ice presentations and activities focused on helping players transition to becoming a professional athlete.

Below is the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 2018 Development Camp Practice Schedule at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex:

Wednesday, June 27
2:15-3:00 PM – Team A Practice
3:15-4:00 PM – Team B Practice

Thursday, June 28
9:45 AM – Skills Session (Team A)
10:45 AM – Skills Session (Team B)
10:45 AM – Goalies Session (Rink 2)

Friday, June 29
10:30 AM – Team B Morning Skate
11:30 AM – Team A Morning Skate
7:00 PM – 3-on-3 Tournament

WHEELING NAILERS TRYOUT CAMP JULY 21-22


The Toyota SportsPlex is excited to once again announce an open tryout for the Wheeling Nailers, ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The tryout is scheduled for Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22, 2018, and a minimum of three participants will be invited to attend Wheeling’s 2018-19 training camp.

“Last year, Wheeling ended up offering four players training camp invites from this tryout,” said Jarrod Skalde, Pittsburgh Penguins player development coach. “It’s a great opportunity, and we’re already looking forward to another strong showing from some of these skaters.” Skalde, along with former Nailers assistant coach Jay Spess, will oversee this year’s tryout.

Registration information is available at www.toyotasportsplex.com. The tryout is limited to 75 participants. All interested parties must provide proof of medical insurance and be paid in full prior to participating. The cost to attend the camp is $350.00.

“This was a great event last year, and I’m glad we’re able to host it again,” added Jason Jarecki,  General Manager of the Toyota SportsPlex. “As I’ve said before, this might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these players.”

A full tryout camp itinerary will be provided upon completion of registration. For additional information, please contact Jay Spess via e-mail at jspess@toyotasportsplex.com

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.

FORTY FORT’S ROEBUCK HEADED TO NHL WORLD GAMING CHAMPIONSHIP


For most video game players, spending an hour or two in front of a television screen is a bit of a distraction from school or work.

But for Forty Fort native David Roebuck, that time holding a controller IS work.

Roebuck, 21, is one of six finalists competing in the NHL Gaming World Championship, being held in the new Esports Arena inside the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on June 19. The total prize pot for the event is $100,000.00, with the winner taking home $50,000.00 himself.

“It’s just amazing, the fact that you can make money over a video game,” said Roebuck, whose gamer tag is JrPens91 (he grew up playing for the Jr. Pens program in Wilkes-Barre).

Roebuck played his first video games when he was about three years old, popping a cartridge into a Nintendo 64.

“There were a couple of NHL games on there I would play a lot. And then from there I was hooked on video games,” he stated.

A lot has changed in the world of video games since Roebuck sat down with that first console. Graphics have evolved thanks to systems from Sony (Playstation) and Microsoft (XBox), and the advent of online gaming has allowed players across the world to compete against one another.

And that’s just how Roebuck made the move from casual player to competitive gamer.

The EA Sports NHL franchise allows players to face off in one-on-one battles, or compete with friends as a team against other groups. It also keeps a tally of the best players competing in online action.

“I would play NHL a lot against my buddies for fun. I just loved the game,” he explained. “And then NHL 13, I was playing the leaderboard a bit. And I beat a guy 4-3, and I thought he was pretty good. I went to look up after the game where he was, and he was actually ranked number one.”

That spurred Roebuck’s interest even further, and he began honing his craft, even working HIS way up to the number one ranking in NHL 14. From there, he started competing in tournaments via World Gaming, an organization that not only allows you to compete for money, but also holds qualifiers for larger tournaments.

The road to the finals of the NHL Gaming World Championship was a long and challenging one. More than 1,000 competitors took part in an online, single elimination tournament, which whittled the field down to just eight American players (similar competitions were held for gamers in Canada and Europe).

Those eight gamers (Roebuck included) then met up for a face-to-face competition at the NBC Sports studios in Stamford, Connecticut on May 20 It was the first time most of the virtual opponents had met in real life.

“For the most part, all of the top guys, we know each other, [from playing online],” he said. “But what was neat about it, some of these guys that I’ve talked to for years or seen their streams, when I went to Connecticut to play, we all met for the first time. And it was more like a reunion than anything. We felt more like teammates than opponents, it was a really neat experience.”

The event itself was first class as well according to Roebuck. The NHL provided limousines to get the players to the station, hosted a media day and photo shoot, and gave them five star accommodations (“We were like celebrities”).

But the tournament itself was all business. The winner of the qualifier would take home $5,000.00, and only the top two finishers would earn spots in the championship competition. One loss would put a player into a lower bracket. A second loss would send him home instead of to Vegas.

“My first game, I was by far the most nervous for that.” Roebuck said. “But I was lucky enough to pull that one out, it was a real close game. But after that I was in the swing of things and kind of just was able to tune everything out.”

He won his first two contests before falling in the upper bracket final. But Roebuck was able to rebound and win the lower bracket finale, setting up a rematch with John Casagranda (aka JohnWaynee90) for the overall championship. And although he eventually fell by a 5-2 score, Roebuck had secured his spot on the game’s big stage.

The new Esports arena in Vegas boasts 50-foot LED screens and seating for hundreds of fans to follow the action live. It’s an experience Roebuck is looking forward to.

“Connecticut was my first land event, and they kind of kept it closed off since it was in a [television] studio,” he said. But when it aired on Twitch (a streaming platform which allows you to broadcast video game play), there was over 22,000 people, which was crazy to see. I think it will be a different experience though having that crowd in Vegas.”

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

DAVIDSON, MOORE WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES WITH GOLDEN KNIGHTS

Kyle Moore (far right) spent time as the Penguins athletic trainer before joining the Vegas Golden Knights for their inaugural season.

by Nick Hart

The Vegas Golden Knights’ run to the Stanley Cup Final has shocked the hockey world. Back in October, no one in their right mind made the claim that the NHL’s newest expansion team would be playing for the league’s ultimate prize in its first season. Yet here we are, about to start a championship series that features the Golden Knights.

Vegas’ rapid ascent has had substantial influence from Northeastern Pennsylvania. Former Penguins players Marc-André Fleury and Deryk Engelland lead the playing roster, and former team captain Ryan Craig is on Vegas’ coaching staff.

But behind the scenes, the Golden Knights brought in strength and conditioning Coach Doug Davidson and associate head athletic trainer Kyle Moore from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to help steer the team to unexpected heights.

Both Davidson and Moore held those positions last season with the Penguins, and look back on their time with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as invaluable to preparing them for their NHL debuts in Vegas.

“With Wilkes-Barre, you get an idea of how things are supposed to be done on the pro side,” Davidson said. “For me, coming from the private sector, I got more comfortable in my two years with the Penguins organization.”

Of course, little about the Golden Knights’ inaugural season could be considered standard. Davidson and Moore were put to the test well before the first puck was dropped on their exhibition schedule on Sept. 17. Moore remembers working feverishly to get everything in line for the team’s first ever training camp, which included loading their newly built practice facility with workout equipment and heavy weights.

“You could say I got back on my workout routine,” Moore said with a laugh.

Once the players arrived, the two former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton staffers had to figure out how to form a rapport with their new group that they were responsible for keeping in top shape. The nature of the expansion draft that put the Golden Knights together ended up providing a unique way for Davidson and Moore to construct that relationship.

“If you think about it, all our players came together from different organizations around the league,” Moore said. “Every player had his own experience as to how things go at the rink. So we worked on what we wanted to do as a staff by taking input from players in terms of what worked with their old teams while also establishing our own culture within our locker room.”

As the year wore on, the players and staff acclimated to one another quickly. Both Davidson and Moore credit the overall affability of the players in the Vegas locker room for their group’s transition to one cohesive unit. However, it wasn’t always easy for those two.

Anyone can understand how difficult it is to uproot one’s life in a flash to go to a new city where you have no real understanding of the area or no friends to lean on. Las Vegas was uncharted territory for Davidson and Moore, but thankfully, they had their existing relationship from their time with the Penguins to ease the stress.

“Having that as a starting point was huge, especially because we were both in a new city where you don’t know anyone,” Davidson said. “Kyle’s a guy who over the past few years, we’ve built a really good professional and personal relationship. We complement one another well.”

When the season got going, it was full speed ahead for the Golden Knights. They came out of the gate hot, winning their first three contests, including a 5-2 trouncing of the Arizona Coyotes in their first-ever home game. Their success carried steadily throughout the regular season, building more and more buzz around the team.

There was a general interest and excitement around the Golden Knights at first, given that they were Sin City’s latest attraction, but now the team is a full-on phenomenon. Their practice facility, located about 20 minutes outside of downtown, has a line spilling outside the doors of its merchandise store on a daily basis. The wait time from line to checkout sometimes reaches two hours.

Davidson and Moore worked around a passionate fanbase during their entire time in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and then would see the city of Pittsburgh rally around the NHL’s Penguins when they were working with the Black Aces during the team’s previous two runs to Stanley Cup titles. Now, they’re witnessing the same enthusiasm blossom in the desert.

“Our stands are full, and I mean full, for every morning skate and practice at our practice rink,” Davidson said. “If you go grocery shopping, everyone has Golden Knights gear on. It’s inescapable.”

Inescapable, just like Davison and Moore penchant for going deep in the playoffs. Considering they were around as part of the Black Aces for Pittsburgh’s back-to-back championships, this is now the third-straight year that Davidson and Moore have made it to the Stanley Cup Final.

It has made for some awfully long seasons and rather short summers, but they’ll happily trade in the vacation days if it means that the Golden Knights can continue its unthinkable season and go dancing on the Vegas Strip with Lord Stanley.

“It’d be nice to get some time to recharge in the summer, but if I’m working in June, I’m in a good place,” Davison said. “You’re not getting me to complain.”

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

PENGUINS ON VACATION

By Katherine McVeagh

As equipment bags get zipped up, the closing activities of the hockey season are completed and the off-season ensues. The players pack up their belongings, say their goodbyes and are off in a variety of directions for their summer reprise.

For hockey players, the summer marks the longest period of a break from competitive play. While every player’s summer involves time in the gym and on the ice getting ready for the upcoming campaign, they will spice up their time off with some form of vacation, relaxation getaway or time with family. 

Christian Thomas, who logged more travel miles than any other Penguin during the 2017-18 season because of his addition to Canada’s men’s national squad, emphasized the importance of taking some time to regroup after a grueling season.

“I definitely take a couple weeks off,” Thomas said. “Probably two or three weeks, and hang out at home in Toronto then get back to the workouts.”

Anthony Peters echoes his teammate’s sentiments, saying that he plans to “kind of just shut it off and do a little R&R,” during the precious weeks where you actually get the rare opportunity to rest. Family time is an important part of Peters’ “R&R” period, too. 

“I haven’t seen my family in a long time and haven’t seen my brother since last June,” Peters said, whose brother, Justin, plays pro hockey too. “It’ll be nice to see him and his kids and the rest of my family. To get home and see the family, that’s certainly number one for me.”

Seeing family members is great, and a lot of players will get together with old friends once they’re back in their hometowns, too. Many players cite attending friends’ and teammates’ weddings as a common offseason activity.

While they may be separated from one another for several months, the Penguins still keep in touch with one another during the summer. The team has a group text in which they share jokes, and many of the team’s members will communicate with one another during ongoing music festivals. Daniel Sprong, a big electronic music fan, says that he has no plans to attend any of the high profile concerts around Montréal or Europe this summer, but he’ll follow along online with his teammates.

“A lot of the guys are talking about all the festivals going on around the world,” Sprong said. “We’ll probably watch the streams on YouTube like we did for [Ultra Music Festival] back in March. We’ll be texting about it.”

Unfortunately for Anthony Angello, who is still enrolled at Cornell University, the summer break will not come until classes conclude.

“I’m going to head back to school,” Angello said. “I’ve got final exams and finishing up classes in the next few weeks.” 

Beyond the classroom, Angello is the type that doesn’t spend much time unwinding, and prefers to get back into work mode as soon as possible. 

“Honestly, I take probably about five days off and by that fifth day I’m just itching to get back into something,” he said. “I just have too much time on my hands. I don’t really know what to do with myself.

“I’ll maybe spend some time with the family, but then get right into training. I’m not going to waste any time.”

Two Penguins have particularly exciting events to look forward to this summer, as the wives of Jarred Tinordi and Tom Sestito are expecting children. 

“My wife’s due for a second baby,” Sestito said, noting that the child’s due date is in August. “This one’s a girl. A boy, a girl, and now I’m done. That’s it.”

Tinordi, on the other hand, is just getting started. His wife are expecting their first child, also a baby girl.

“We’re excited, a little bit nervous, too,” Tinorrdi said. “My wife is due soon. We’re getting down to crunch time here.”

Whether players return from the summer rested, stronger, faster, or as new fathers, it is taken by all as a well-deserved break from the demands of the grueling hockey season.

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

FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT WITH ANGELLO, ALMARI

By everyone’s admission, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ season concluded much sooner than people were expecting. The Game Three loss to the Charlotte Checkers was a stunning one to be sure, but those caught up in the moment may have missed the silver lining brightly shining from that contest.

Rookies Anthony Angello and Niclas Almari, both playing on amateur tryout contracts, were awesome.

Angello scored twice for the Penguins in that game, his first two tallies as a pro. Almari was a stalwart on defense and notched an assist. The Penguins may have lost the game, but Angello accounted for two-thirds of the team’s scoring, and Almari earned a plus-three rating.

The loss meant the 2017-18 season was over, but Angello and Almari sent a loud message for the future.

Anthony Angello recorded a pair of goals in just his second professional game.

“I think that was a good example of how I play and what I can do,” Angello said. “Coming in, I started off a little tentative, but then I started to play my game, and dominate down there at the end.”

Angello made the adjustment to the pro game quickly, but as he pointed out, things weren’t smooth sailing right from the outset. It took him several days to get truly settled in with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but once he did, he reached that level where he could break through in the unforgiving atmosphere of an elimination playoff game.

“I obviously had never been a pro before, I hadn’t played as pro style before, and being at school and stuff, I hadn’t skated in a couple weeks,” Angello said. “I was nervous from that aspect, but it all came together for me. Plus the guys were great, practices were well put together, so everything was arranged for me to step in and have success.”

Almari was impressive not only because of his play on the ice, but because of the age at which he thrived. He was only 19-years-old for that game against the Checkers, his first professional playoff game, and yet he maneuvered the playing service with the poise and confidence of a 10-year veteran. Even a casual fan could take one look at the teenager and see that he isn’t very physically imposing at this point, but despite lacking strength, he was arguably Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s best defenseman in that Game 3.

Niclas Almari recorded an assist and a plus-three rating in his first pro game.

In line with Almari’s performance, his off-ice personality is a poised one. Unfazed by reporters bombarding him with questions that aren’t in his native tongue, he declared himself to be “comfy” in the Calder Cup Playoffs setting. Last season, he captured the championship in Finland’s top junior league while leading all defensemen in points during the postseason. 

“I feel like I’m a playoff player,” Almari said. “I always play my best in playoffs… Junior playoffs in Finland aren’t that much different. Of course this level is a lot better hockey and every team has depth, but we had pretty big crowds for our games. It’s easy to get into the game. I think it had a huge impact on my (AHL) performance.”

All signs point to Angello starting the 2018-19 season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. On the other hand, Almari is still unsigned by Pittsburgh and could be headed back to Finland for one more season. Until then, the smooth defenseman will follow the guidance of Pittsburgh’s development staff with the added confidence of his AHL debut in tow.

“I know I played well, but there’s still a lot of improving that needs to be done,” Almari said. “The coaches know the road for me.”

By Nick Hart

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

DENNIS BONVIE HOCKEY CAMP RETURNS TO TOYOTA SPORTSPLEX


Former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Dennis Bonvie will host his annual hockey camp at the Toyota SportsPlex (40 Coal Street in Wilkes-Barre) from June 9-11.

Youth hockey players can learn from the 15-year pro, as well as former Penguins defenseman Chris Kelleher, current Penguin Patrick McGrath, and coach Don Tweedy during the three-day camp.

Individual sessions will be held each day for players in the Mite, Squirt and Pee-Wee age groups, with each skater receiving more than three hours of ice time over the three days.

Cost of the camp is just $99 per skater, and you can sign up online by clicking here.  For more information, call the Toyota SportsPlex at (570) 208-9471.

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