There was major FOMO in the air last night as the 2023 Stanley Cup playoffs began and the Pittsburgh Penguins were nowhere to be found. On the outside looking in for the first time since 2006, Penguins fans had to face reality after the team was eliminated last week. Still, the annual tradition continues on without the Penguins, and if last night was any indication, it should be an entertaining few months for hockey fans.
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There will be no home team to root for this playoff season but that doesn’t mean Penguins fans can’t remain engaged. There are 16 teams to adopt as your favorite this spring though some may be better choices than others. [KDKA]
Filling the vacant general manager position will be a long process for the Penguins, but some prospective names are already emerging. Some of those names are the ones you may expect while some others might be a bit more out there. [Pensburgh]
It was a down year for the entire Penguins organization, including the farm system. Not only did the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins miss the playoffs, they finished the season with a losing record for the first time since in 21 years. [Pensburgh]
For the most part, it was a bad year to be a Penguins player. Aside from a few bright spots like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Rickard Rakell, or Marcus Pettersson, most of the players failed to make the grade this season. [The Athletic $$]
Nick Bonino had high hopes of returning to Pittsburgh and helping the Penguins make another run at a Stanley Cup. Instead, a lacerated kidney cut his comeback short and the Penguins missed the playoffs. [Trib Live]
News and notes from around the NHL...
Two power play goals propelled the Carolina Hurricanes past the New York Islanders 2-1 in Game 1 of their opening round series. [Lighthouse Hockey]
Battling a widespread flu bug and without Patric Bergeron as a result, the Boston Bruins still out gunned the Florida Panthers to take a 1-0 series lead. [NHL]