The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins are the American Hockey League affiliate of the National Hockey League's Pittsburgh Penguins. They play at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township, Pennsylvania, just outside the city of Wilkes-Barre. They were the 2011 winners of the East Division and the Eastern Conference (in terms of regular season titles), winning their first Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy.
|2020–21 AHL season|
|City||Wilkes-Barre Township, Pennsylvania|
|League||American Hockey League|
|Home arena||Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza|
|Colors||Black, gold, white, red|
|General manager||Erik Heasley (interim)|
|Head coach||J.D. Forrest|
|Media||Wilkes-Barre Times Leader|
AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh
WILK Newsradio 103.1
|Affiliates||Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)|
Wheeling Nailers (ECHL)
|Regular season titles||2: (2010–11, 2016–17)|
|Division Championships||4: (2005–06, 2007–08, 2010–11, 2016–17)|
|Conference Championships||3: (2001, 2004, 2008)|
The Pittsburgh Penguins' top minor league affiliate throughout the 1990s was the Cleveland Lumberjacks of the IHL. However, in the mid-1990s, the IHL began moving away from being a developmental league and more towards being an independent minor league. For this reason, the Penguins wanted their top minor league affiliate in the AHL. The Penguins purchased the dormant Cornwall Aces AHL franchise from the Colorado Avalanche in 1996, but left the team inactive until the 1999–2000 season due to construction delays at their intended home–a new arena in Wilkes-Barre Township. The team is affectionately referred to as the "Baby Penguins" by fans. Their mascot is Tux the penguin, who wears number No. 99 in reference to the team's first season, in 1999.
The Penguins have gone to the Calder Cup final three times but have never won the championship. The team went all the way to the finals in their second season, losing to the Saint John Flames in six games. The Penguins returned to the finals in their fifth season, but were swept by the Milwaukee Admirals. They most recently made it to the finals in 2008 by way of beating the Portland Pirates in a seven-game series in the Eastern Conference finals. They went on to play the Chicago Wolves in the final, but lost the series 4–2.
The WBS Penguins won the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy for the best finish in the regular season, in 2011, with 117 points. Goaltender Brad Thiessen was named the recipient of the Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award, an award given to the AHL's most outstanding goaltender for each season. He posted a record of 35–8–1 in 46 appearances, along with a 1.94 goals-against-average and a .922 save percentage. Head coach John Hynes won the Louis A. R. Pieri Memorial Award, awarded to the most outstanding AHL coach of the season. Despite the best regular season finish in team history, the WBS Penguins were eliminated in the second round of the 2011 playoffs by the Charlotte Checkers in six games.
The Penguins have made the playoffs in all but three seasons of their existence. As of the end of the 2019–20 season, the WBS Penguins held a playoff streak of 16 seasons from the 2002–03 season to the 2017–18 season.
Prior to the 2009–10 season, they held the inaugural Penguins Black and Gold Game, an intra-squad game which featured members of the Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and was the first ever head-to-head meeting between Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. The game was a complete sellout and tickets never reached the general public. The Penguins organization held its second Black and Gold Game prior to the 2010–11 season on September 19, 2010.
In 2009, they also spawned an affiliated youth level organization, the Wilkes-Barre Junior Pens. The team is based out of the Ice Rink at Coal Street Park, which also serves as a practice facility for the Penguins.
The Penguins' biggest rivals had been the Philadelphia Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of Pennsylvania's other NHL team, the Philadelphia Flyers. After that team moved to Glens Falls, New York, (as the Adirondack Phantoms) the Hershey Bears, also located in Pennsylvania, became the major rivals of the Penguins (they are currently the AHL affiliate of another developing rival of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals). In 2014, the Adirondack Phantoms relocated back to eastern Pennsylvania as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
|1999–00||80||23||43||9||5||—||60||.375||236||306||5th, Empire State Div.||2000||—||Did not qualify|
|2000–01||80||36||33||9||2||—||83||.519||252||248||2nd, Mid-Atlantic Div.||2001||—||W, 3–2, SYR||W, 4–2, PHI||W, 4–0, HER||L, 2–4, SJF|
|2001–02||80||20||44||13||3||—||56||.350||201||274||4th, South Div.||2002||Did not qualify|
|2002–03||80||36||32||7||5||—||84||.525||245||248||3rd, South Div.||2003||W, 2–0, UTA||L, 1–3, GR||—||—||—|
|2003–04||80||34||28||10||8||—||86||.538||197||197||3rd, East Div.||2004||BYE||W, 4–3, BRP||W, 4–2, PHI||W, 4–3, HFD||L, 0–4, MIL|
|2004–05||80||39||27||—||7||7||92||.575||227||219||4th, East Div.||2005||—||W, 4–2, BNG||L, 1–4, PHI||—||—|
|2005–06||80||51||18||—||5||6||113||.706||249||178||1st, East Div.||2006||—||W, 4–3, BRP||L, 0–4, HER||—||—|
|2006–07||80||51||23||—||2||4||108||.675||276||221||2nd, East Div.||2007||—||W, 4–2, NOR||L, 1–4, HER||—||—|
|2007–08||80||47||26||—||3||4||101||.631||223||187||1st, East Div.||2008||—||W, 4–1, HER||W, 4–1, PHI||W, 4–3 POR||L, 2–4, CHI|
|2008–09||80||49||25||—||3||3||104||.650||274||212||3rd, East Div.||2009||—||W, 4–1, BRP||L,3–4 HER||—||—|
|2009–10||80||41||34||—||2||3||87||.544||239||229||3rd, East Div.||2010||—||L, 0–4, ALB||—||—||—|
|2010–11||80||58||21||—||0||1||117||.731||261||183||1st, East Div.||2011||—||W, 4–2, NOR||L, 2–4, CHA||—||—|
|2011–12||76||44||25||—||2||5||95||.625||235||215||2nd, East Div.||2012||—||W, 3–2, HER||L, 3–4, STJ||—||—|
|2012–13||76||42||30||—||2||2||88||.579||185||178||3rd, East Div.||2013||—||W, 3–0, BNG||W, 4–3, PRO||L, 1–4, SYR||—|
|2013–14||76||42||26||—||3||5||92||.605||206||185||6th, Eastern Conf.||2014||—||W, 3–1, BNG||W, 4–3, PRO||L, 2–4, STJ||—|
|2014–15||76||45||24||—||3||4||97||.638||212||163||4th, Eastern Conf.||2015||—||W, 3–0, SYR||L, 1–4, MCH||—||—|
|2015–16||76||43||27||—||4||2||92||.605||230||203||3rd, Atlantic Div.||2016||—||W, 3–0, PRO||L, 3–4, HER||—||—|
|2016–17||76||51||20||—||3||2||107||.704||247||170||1st, Atlantic Div.||2017||—||L, 2–3, PRO||—||—||—|
|2017–18||76||45||22||—||6||3||99||.651||252||223||2nd, Atlantic Div.||2018||—||L, 0–3, CHA||—||—||—|
|2018–19||76||36||30||—||7||3||82||.539||232||228||6th, Atlantic Div.||2019||—||Did not qualify|
|2019–20||63||29||26||—||3||5||66||.524||164||193||5th, Atlantic Div.||2020||—||Season cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic|
Won Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy for the best record in the regular season
Round not held
Updated April 11, 2021.
- John Slaney, Stephen Leach & Tyler Wright, 1999–00
- Sven Butenschon & John Slaney, 2000–01
- Jason MacDonald, 2001–02
- Tom Kostopoulos, 2002–03
- Patrick Boileau, Kris Beech & Tom Kostopoulos, 2003–04
- Rob Scuderi, 2004–05
- Alain Nasreddine, 2004–06
- Micki DuPont, 2006–07
- Nathan Smith, 2007–08
- David Gove, 2008–09
- Wyatt Smith, 2009–10
- Ryan Craig, 2010–12
- Joey Mormina, 2012–13
- Tom Kostopoulos, 2013–18
- Garrett Wilson, 2018–19
- David Warsofsky, 2019–20
- Josh Currie, 2021–
Players listed have played at least 100 games with the Penguins and 100 games in the NHL.
- Josh Archibald
- Colby Armstrong
- Kris Beech
- Paul Bissonnette
- Teddy Blueger
- Dennis Bonvie
- Robert Bortuzzo
- Jesse Boulerice
- Wade Brookbank
- Sven Butenschon
- Daniel Carcillo
- Sebastien Caron
- Erik Christensen
- Ryan Craig
- Simon Despres
- Brian Dumoulin
- Deryk Engelland
- Marc-Andre Fleury
- Brian Gibbons
- Alex Goligoski
- Scott Harrington
- Tristan Jarry
- Dustin Jeffrey
- Nick Johnson
- David Koci
- Tom Kostopoulos
- Tom Kuhnhackl
- Mark Letestu
- Ben Lovejoy
- Jayson Megna
- Josef Melichar
- Matt Murray
- Brooks Orpik
- Michel Ouellet
- Toby Petersen
- Derrick Pouliot
- Carter Rowney
- Rob Scuderi
- Dominik Simon
- Brian Strait
- Oskar Sundqvist
- Tomas Surovy
- Jeff Taffe
- Maxime Talbot
- Eric Tangradi
- Zach Trotman
- Joe Vitale
- Tim Wallace
- Single season
- Goals: Chris Minard, 34 (2008–09)
- Assists: Jeff Taffe and Janne Pesonen, 50 (2008–09)
- Points: Janne Pesonen, 82 (2008–09)
- Penalty minutes: Dennis Bonvie, 431 (2005–06)
- Goaltending wins: Brad Thiessen, 35 (2010–11)
- GAA: Jeff Zatkoff 1.93 (2012–13)
- SV%: Rich Parent (2000–01), Dany Sabourin (2005–06) and Brad Thiessen (2010–11), .922
As of the 2009–10 AHL Season. Data from the AHL Hall of Fame Website.
- Most road wins, 80-game season: 28 (2010–2011) (tied)
- Longest road winning streak (one season): 13 games (October 9 – December 3, 2005) (tied)
- Longest road winning streak (overall): 15 games (April 10 – December 3, 2005)
- Most points by a defenseman, career: John Slaney, 486 (Baltimore, Portland, Cornwall, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Philadelphia)
- Most goals by a defenseman, career: John Slaney, 157
- Most goals by a defenseman, season: John Slaney, 30 (1999–2000)
- Most PIM, career: Dennis Bonvie, 4,104 (Cape Breton, Hamilton, Portland, Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Providence, Binghamton, Hershey)
- Most PIM, game: Steve Parsons, 64 (March 17, 2002 vs. Syracuse)
AHL awards and trophiesEdit
Per the AHL Hall of Fame:
Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy (AHL regular season champions)
Frank Mathers Trophy (Eastern Conference regular season champions from 2004 to 2011)
Richard F. Canning Trophy (Eastern Conference playoff champions)
F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy (East Division regular season champions from 2002 to 2011)
Robert W. Clarke Trophy (Western Conference playoff champions)
Eddie Shore Award (best defenseman)
Aldege "Baz" Bastien Memorial Award (best goaltender)
Yanick Dupre Memorial Award (AHL Man of the Year Service)
Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award (coach of the year)
- Marrapese, Nancy L. (May 19, 1996). "Mighty Casey a pinch hit". The Boston Globe. p. 52.
The [Pittsburgh] Penguins will move and rename the AHL’s Cornwall Aces after buying the franchise from the Avalanche.
- Mayer, Sean (July 2, 1996). "Pirates plundered". Press & Sun-Bulletin. Binghamton, NY. p. 3D.
[Godfrey] Wood will be responsible for finding a home for the [Pittsburgh] Penguins’ incoming AHL team, the defunct Cornwall Aces franchise Pittsburgh bought from the Colorado Avalanche.
- "Wilkes-Barre Jr. Penguins Youth Ice Hockey Club". Retrieved November 21, 2016.
- "Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Roster". Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
- "AHL Record Book". AHL Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- "AHL Hall of Fame Trophy List". AHL Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 16, 2017.