The 1969–70 Pittsburgh Penguins season was the franchise's third season in the National Hockey League. The season saw the Penguins qualify for the playoffs, for the first time in franchise history. The Penguins finished the season in second place in the West Division, 22 points behind the first place St. Louis Blues.
|1969–70 Pittsburgh Penguins|
|General manager||Jack Riley|
|Alternate captains||Keith McCreary|
|Arena||Pittsburgh Civic Arena|
|Goals||Dean Prentice (26)|
|Assists||Michel Briere (32)|
|Points||Dean Prentice (51)|
|Penalty minutes||Bryan Watson (189)|
|Wins||Al Smith (15)|
|Goals against average||Joe Daley (2.95)|
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Tragedy struck the Penguins in 1970 when promising rookie center Michel Briere, who finished third in scoring on the team, was injured in a single-vehicle car crash in Quebec on May 15, 1970. His Mercury Cougar hit a frost bump and swerved off the road. It is not known if he was driving or not. Two friends who were in the vehicle with him suffered less serious injuries. After nearly spending a year in the hospital in a coma, Briere died of his head injuries. Given his junior league statistics, many hockey experts predicted that Briere would have been a star in the NHL.
|1||St. Louis Blues||76||37||27||12||224||179||+45||86|
|3||Minnesota North Stars||76||19||35||22||224||257||−33||60|
|6||Los Angeles Kings||76||14||52||10||168||290||−122||38|
Schedule and resultsEdit
|Legend: = Win = Loss = Tie|
The Penguins would reach the playoffs for the first time in 1970, advancing to the Western Conference Finals where they lost to the St. Louis Blues. In the Pittsburgh-Oakland series, in game one, Nick Harbaruk's goal midway through the third period was the winner as Pittsburgh won 2–1. In game two, Gary Jarrett gave Oakland a 1–0 lead, but Pittsburgh came back to win 3–1. Game three at Oakland featured a hat trick by Ken Schinkel of the Penguins as Pittsburgh won 5–2. Game four featured Oakland having 1–0 and 2–1 leads, but the Seals just couldn't hold on and the game was tied 2–2 at the end of regulation time. Overtime was necessary and Michel Briere scored the series winning goal at 8:28 of overtime for Pittsburgh. In the West Division finals, the St. Louis Blues beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.
|Legend:= Win = Loss|
†Denotes player spent time with another team before joining the Penguins. Stats reflect time with the Penguins only.
‡Denotes player was traded mid-season. Stats reflect time with the Penguins only.
Awards and recordsEdit
- Ken Schinkel became the first player to score 100 points for the Penguins. He did so by scoring a goal in a 2–3 loss to Chicago on November 23.
- Keith McCreary became the first player to score 50 goals for the Penguins. He did so with the first of his two goals in a 4–4 tie with Toronto on January 28.
- Bryan Watson became the first player to earn 100 penalty minutes in one season for the Penguins. He did so by receiving 26 PIMs in a 1–7 loss to Chicago on February 11.
- Ken Schinkel became the first to play 200 games for the Penguins. He did so in a 0–2 loss to New York on March 18.
- Michel Brière established a rookie record for the Penguins in terms of assists (32) and points (44).
The Penguins were involved in the following transactions during the 1969–70 season:
|June 12, 1969||To Montreal Canadiens
1969 8th round pick
|To Pittsburgh Penguins
|June 12, 1969||To St. Louis Blues
1969 7th round pick
|To Pittsburgh Penguins
|October 28, 1969||To Detroit Red Wings
|To Pittsburgh Penguins
Mike McMahon Jr.
Additions and subtractionsEdit
|Round||#||Player||Pos||Nationality||College/Junior/Club Team (League)|
|2||15||Rick Kessell||Center||Canada||Oshawa Generals (OHA)|
|4||38||Yvon Labre||Defense||Canada||Toronto Marlboros (OHA)|
|5||50||Ed Patenaude||Right Wing||Canada||Calgary Centennials (WCHL)|
|6||62||Paul Hoganson||Goaltender||Canada||Toronto Marlboros (OHA)|
- Draft notes
- The Pittsburgh Penguins' first-round pick went to the Boston Bruins as the result of a May 21, 1968, trade that sent Jean Pronovost and John Arbour to the Penguins in exchange for this pick.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins' seventh-round pick went to the St. Louis Blues as the result of a June 12, 1969, trade that sent cash options to the Penguins in exchange for this pick.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins' eighth-round pick went to the Montreal Canadiens as the result of a June 12, 1969, trade that sent cash options to the Penguins in exchange for this pick.
- "1969–1970 Division Standings Standings - NHL.com - Standings". National Hockey League.
- "1969–1970 – Regular Season – Pittsburgh Penguins – All Skaters – Summary – Points – NHL.com – Stats". NHL.
- "1969–1970 – Playoffs – Pittsburgh Penguins – All Skaters – Summary – Points – NHL.com – Stats". NHL.
- "1969–1970 – Regular Season – Pittsburgh Penguins – Goalie – Summary – Wins – NHL.com – Stats". NHL.
- "1969–1970 – Playoffs – Pittsburgh Penguins – Goalie – Summary – Wins – NHL.com – Stats". NHL.
- "NHL Entry Draft Year by Year Results". NHL.com. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- "1969 NHL Entry Draft Pending Transactions". Pro Sports Transactions. Retrieved February 25, 2013.