STANLEY CUP CONNECTIONS

They did it again.

The Pittsburgh Penguins won their second consecutive Stanley Cup Championship on Sunday, June 11, defeating the Nashville Predators, 2-0, to keep the treasured trophy in the Steel City for another year.

In a few weeks, the Cup will see the names of more than four dozen Penguins players, coaches and support staffers etched onto its base.  And, as in both the 2009 and 2016 championship seasons, there will be no shortage of connections to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins there.

Twelve Pittsburgh Penguins players who qualify to have their names on the chalice have played at least one game with the AHL Penguins.  Kris Letting and Marc-Andre Fleury become the first three-time champions to pass through Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, while Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust, Matt Murray, Tom Kuhnhackl, Brian Dumoulin and Olli Maatta have been members of both of the Pens back-to-back teams.

Joining that group of repeat winners are newbies Carter Rowney, Jake Guentzel, Josh Archibald and Scott Wilson.  Wilson was a member of Pittsburgh’s Cup run last spring, but due to injuries and a lack of games played, did not qualify to have his name on the trophy.  Rowney, Guentzel and Archibald all spent parts of this season in NEPA.

Head coach Mike Sullivan spent part of the 2015-16 season guiding Wilkes-Barre/Scranton before being promoted to Pittsburgh, and is now the first head coach since the great Toe Blake in 1956 and 1957 to guide a team to Stanley Cups in his first two years behind an NHL bench.

Three other former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton staffers figure to see their names written in hockey immortality for a second straight season as well.  Patrick Steidle spent more than a decade with his hometown team before joining Pittsburgh’s athletic training staff in 2013.  Jim Britt worked his way up from intern in Wilkes-Barre to his current position as the Pens team services manager.  And Andy Saucier parlayed two seasons as the AHL team’s video coach into the same position with Pittsburgh.

Players and coaches with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton ties have been featured on the Stanley Cup in seven of the past nine seasons.  Here’s a year-by-year view of some names you probably know.

2017 (Pittsburgh Penguins):  Josh Archibald, Brian Dumoulin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jake Guentzel, Tom Kuhnhackl, Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, Matt Murray, Carter Rowney, Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary, Scott Wilson, Mike Sullivan

2016 (Pittsburgh Penguins):  Brian Dumoulin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Tom Kuhnhackl, Kris Letang, Ben Lovejoy, Olli Maatta, Matt Murray, Kevin Porter, Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary, Jeff Zatkoff, Mike Sullivan

2015 (Chicago Blackhawks):  Daniel Carcillo, Michal Rozsival

2013 (Chicago Blackhawks):  Daniel Carcillo, Michal Rozsival

2012 (Los Angeles Kings):  Rob Scuderi

2011 (Boston Bruins):  Andrew Ference

2009 (Pittsburgh Penguins):  Marc-Andre Fleury, Alex Goligoski, Tyler Kennedy, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik, Miroslav Satan, Rob Scuderi, Max Talbot, Dan Bylsma, Mike Yeo

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

MAATTA MADE HIS PRO DEBUT IN WILKES-BARRE


Olli Maatta has goals in back-to-back games for the Pittsburgh Penguins, including the opening tally in a 7-0 win on Sunday.  He’s now helped the defending Stanley Cup champions to a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Ottawa Senators.

Now playing in his fourth NHL season, Maatta is one of the brightest young stars on the Pittsburgh roster.  But what many don’t realize, is that the former first round draft choice played his first pro games in Wilkes-Barre.

A native of Jyvaskyla, Finland, Maatta made the move to North America prior to the 2011-12 season, joining the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.  His 32 points (5+27) in 58 games was tops among Knights defensemen, and drew the attention of NHL scouts.

The Penguins scooped up the blue liner with the 22nd pick in the 2012 draft, and saw him continue to blossom the following season.  Once again, he led London defenseman with 38 points (8+30), helped the club to the top regular season record in the OHL, and the league’s playoff championship.

Following the conclusion of the Knights’ season, Maatta jumped right into the heat of the Calder Cup Playoffs with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The defenseman suited up for Games Three, Four and Five of the Eastern Conference Final against the Syracuse Crunch.  The Penguins fell in all three of those contests and were knocked out of the playoffs, but fans in NEPA did get a chance to see Maatta skate on the Mohegan Sun Arena ice.

The 22-year old has been through a lot since then.  He won a bronze medal with Team Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympics, battled and beat cancer, missed most of the 2014-15 season after multiple shoulder surgeries, and captured a Stanley Cup last season.

GAME FIVE WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS CONNECTIONS:

  • Carter Rowney was scoreless in his first 11 Stanley Cup playoff contests, but broke that string when he notched an assist on the Penguins’ third goal of the afternoon.  He wasn’t done though, as he picked up two more helpers on the afternoon, giving him three points in the game and the postseason.
  • Matt Murray stopped 25 shots for his second career Stanley Cup playoff shutout.  His first was a 31 save effort on April 21 of last season against the New York Rangers.  That was Murray’s second career postseason appearance with Pittsburgh.
  • Murray is now 17-6 all-time in the postseason for Pittsburgh.
  • Bryan Rust and Scott Wilson each posted goals in Sunday’s win.

Season Ticket Memberships for the 2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season are on sale now.  Call the Penguins directly at 570-208-7367 to get yours, or fill in the form below, and a Penguins account executive will reach out to you.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information