Tuesday, May 20, 2008

National Pensblog Radio

Nice job by Derek from The Pensblog on National Public Radio today, an interview that can be found online here.

Good details about the tough times in Pittsburgh, which are all the young fans in that city remember.

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At 12:20 p.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger DCThrowback said...

I know, all those poor fans who had to live through the awful 2001 run to the Conference Finals. How did they deal with the losing void between 1993 and 2007?

The city of Pittsburgh is filled with gritty survivors who have shown they can overcome the adversity of 5 losing seasons and numerous top 5 picks. My hat is off their dedicated fans for their unwavering support through the tough times with players like Brian Holzinger, John LeClair, Ziggy Palffy and Joey Dziezic. We should just give them the Cup now - any other group of fans would've probably fedexed the team straight to Winnipeg.

At 12:51 p.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

So... you're hoping they win the Cup, then?

At 4:07 p.m., May 21, 2008, Anonymous dvc said...

I'll preface this by saying I'm a Flyers fan who lived in Pittsburgh during the Lemieux glory years and is happy to see that hockey is back in Pittsburgh and not moving to Kansas City anytime soon.

But this report is a bit much.

"Ten years ago, Pittsburgh's hockey team hit rock bottom."

Ten years ago, let's see: 98 points, Northeast division champs and a scoring title for Jagr, all of which came in the midst of a nine-year string of playoff appearances after their back-to-back Cups, including two trips to the conference finals. That's rock bottom alright. A "slide" indeed.

And Derek, would you have rather had Bill Wirtz as your team's owner? How 'bout another HB--Harold Ballard? Jeremy Jacobs?

Howard Baldwin was a terrible businessman who bankrupted the Pens and wrecked the economic structure of the game, that's true. But he did it for the sake of keeping top talent--namely Lemieux and Jagr--in Pittsburgh and putting a quality product on the ice for the fans.

Those high salaries, an outdated building with a poor lease and one of the NHL's smallest markets, if not the smallest, with a declining local economy, did in the Pens, and Lemieux was too crippled to save them.

So Pens fans had to endure four miserable years, the last of which was Crosby's dazzling rookie season, which produced five straight years of top-five picks, four straight picking either first or second. One of those lottery picks came courtesy of the lockout which Mr. Baldwin helped create a decade earlier. So five great picks, which happened to coincide with the availability of world-class talent like Fleury, Malkin and Crosby, for only four years of suffering.

I would say the Pens' current ascension, though perhaps a bit ahead of schedule, is more inevitable than remarkable. And you only have to be older than about 12 to remember when the Pens were good before this.

Now if the Blackhawks make it to the finals next year, THAT would be a remarkable story.

At 4:38 p.m., May 21, 2008, Blogger DCThrowback said...

Sarcasm + Actual fact = Excellent commentary. Great post, DVC. I heartily concur. I wish no ill will on the Pens or their fans, but this "suffering" is more like a fever and less like cancer.

And James, my allegiances can be bought in this series. The Pens at 7:5 might just be enough for me to take a side.


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