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, 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.
|2019–20 AHL season|
|League||American Hockey League|
|Home arena||Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza|
|Colors||Black, gold, white, red|
|General manager||Bill Guerin|
|Head coach||Mike Vellucci|
|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. The team is affectionately referred to as "The Baby Penguins" by fans. Their mascot is Tux the penguin, who wears number #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 Baby Pens 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 best finish in the regular season in 2011 with 117 points. Goaltender Brad Thiessen was also 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 their best regular season finish in team history, the WBS Penguins would be 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 2018–19 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 2013, the Adirondack Phantoms relocated back to eastern Pennsylvania as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy for the best record in the regular season
Round not held
Updated July 16, 2019.
- John Slaney, Stephen Leach & Tyler Wright, 1999–2000
- Sven Butenschon & John Slaney, 2000–2001
- Jason MacDonald, 2001–2002
- Tom Kostopoulos, 2002–2003
- Patrick Boileau, Kris Beech & Tom Kostopoulos, 2003–2004
- Rob Scuderi, 2004–2005
- Alain Nasreddine, 2004–2006
- Micki DuPont, 2006–2007
- Nathan Smith, 2007–2008
- David Gove, 2008–2009
- Wyatt Smith, 2009–2010
- Ryan Craig, 2010–2012
- Joey Mormina, 2012–2013
- Tom Kostopoulos, 2013–2018
- Garrett Wilson, 2018–2019
- Colby Armstrong
- Kris Beech
- Paul Bissonnette
- Dennis Bonvie
- Robert Bortuzzo
- Jesse Boulerice
- Tim Brent
- Wade Brookbank
- Brendan Buckley
- Sven Butenschon
- Daniel Carcillo
- Matt Carkner
- Sebastien Caron
- Andy Chiodo
- Erik Christensen
- Ty Conklin
- Greg Crozier
- John Curry
- Shane Endicott
- Andrew Ference
- Marc-Andre Fleury
- Alex Goligoski
- Jake Guentzel
- Dustin Jeffrey
- Tyler Kennedy
- Tom Kostopoulos
- Tom Kuhnhackl
- Kris Letang
- Mark Letestu
- Ryan Malone
- Matt Murray
- Alain Nasreddine
- Michel Ouellet
- Brooks Orpik
- Janne Pesonen
- Toby Petersen
- Danny Richmond
- Darcy Robinson
- Bryan Rust
- Dany Sabourin
- Miroslav Satan
- Rob Scuderi
- Conor Sheary
- John Slaney
- Ryan Stone
- Tomas Surovy
- Maxime Talbot
- Eric Tangradi
- Ryan Whitney
- Scott Wilson
- 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 2004–2011)
Richard F. Canning Trophy (Eastern Conference playoff champions)
F. G. "Teddy" Oke Trophy (East Division regular season champions from 2002–2011)
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 January 18, 2014.
- "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.