The Pittsburgh Penguins have been the home to some of the most talented players in hockey history. Founded in 1967, the Penguins struggled to become a consistently competitive franchise in their early years, but with the arrival of Mario Lemieux in 1984 the Penguins began to turn their team around and haven't looked back since. Lemieux has become an icon in the hockey world and is the heart and soul of the Penguins organization. Some argue that Lemieux would have challenged many of Gretzky's records if his career had not been stunted several times by injuries and a grueling battle with cancer.
When Jaromir Jagr joined the Penguins in 1990, Lemieux was recovering from a herniated disc but upon his return the next season the Penguins would become a premier NHL force, winning the Stanley cup for the first time in the history of their franchise. They would go on to win the Cup again the following season, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks in a 4 game sweep.
With the retirement of Lemieux and the departure of Jaromir Jagr, the torch was passed on to superstar Sidney Crosby. Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are bringing the Penguins back to an era reminiscent of the Lemieux-Jagr years and have already captured the first of what should be many Stanley Cups to follow. A deepening of the rivalry between the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers came about during the 2012 Playoffs when the two teams met for an exciting, run and gun series that seemed to have an equally ridiculous number of fights, penalties and goals.
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