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Pens Points: Down with the sickness

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There’s no stopping this now, folks. No need to panic, but this is just beginning.

Nashville Predators v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game One

Get your day started with some Saturday morning Pens Points:

With the shutdown of the NHL and all professional sports, employees at all the arenas across North America are facing some very real uncertainty when it comes to income. Fortunately for the full-time and part-time employees at PPG Paints Arena, The Mario Lemiuex Foundation, The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and multiple players are chipping in to make sure they get paid during this difficult time. Hopefully this is the normal going forward for all venues, and not just PPG Paints Arena. [Pensburgh]

The Penguins of course aren’t the only ones. Here’s a good rundown of some of the generosity going around the sports world right now. There’s plenty more where this came from and it’s already been updated several times recently. [Daily Hive]

Around the NHL:

Gary Bettman is an easy target to point and laugh at, but he’s managing this unprecedented territory how you’d expect. As it evolves on a daily basis. Here’s a good interview with the commissioner expanding on a wide range of topics. []

The players are taking it about as you’d expect. Disappointment in the sudden work stoppage, but they all fully understand the scope of this problem are saying all the right things. []

The Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto is the latest public attraction that is shutting its doors due to COVID-19. The are planning to reopen on April 6th, but that’s subject to change of course. []

Mr. Game 1, aka Jeff Zatkoff, made a surprising appearance on Greg Wyshynski’s article on ESPN talking about how his Straubing Tigers, who finished third in the DEL, season ended disappointingly and quickly after the DEL became the first professional sports league in the world to cancel in-season as a result of COVID-19. [ESPN]

With the potential loss of all the playoff revenue and missed regular season, Larry Brooks came up with an interesting plan to create a cash grab for the NHL to make up for the loss in revenue. Get ready for this - a 20 to 24 team tournament featuring knockout rounds set up very similar to the NCAA basketball tournament brackets. Apparently the NFL did something similar in 1982 so it’s not completely unprecedented, but certainly far-fetched. [NY Post]

This day in Pittsburgh Hockey:

  • 1997 - Joe Mullen scored his 500th career goal in a game against Colorado, becoming the first U.S.-born player to score 500.
  • 2000 - Penguins obtained Ron Tugnutt and Janne Laukkanen from Ottawa for Tom Barrasso; obtained Rene Corbet and Tyler Moss from Calagry for Brad Werenka; and obtained Josef Beranek from Edmonton for German Titov.
  • 2001 - The Pens traded Sven Butenschon to the Edmonton Oilers for Dan Lacouture.
  • 2007 - Penguins goalie Jocelyn Thibault earned his first shutout in a Penguins uniform with a 3-0 win at New Jersey. He stopped all 24 shots he faced. It was the Penguins’ first-ever shutout in New Jersey.
  • 2014 - Pittsburgh native Vincent Trocheck playing his fifth game with the Florida Panthers, scored his first NHL goal in a game against the New Jersey Devils.
  • 2015 - Boston’s Tuukka Rask made 30 saves to earn his first regular season shutout against the Penguins.