In with the New, Out with the Igloo

Posted by admin at 4 September 2010

Category: Arena, Evgeni Malkin, Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been very closely tied to their home arena, dating back to their expansion season of 1967. When the franchise architects sat down to christen their incoming band of professional hockey players, they derived what proved to be an enduring team name from the very roof under which the squad would soon suit up. Mellon Arena, recently reverting back to its original name of Pittsburgh Civic Arena, has been referred to by a more affectionate, informal moniker over the course of the past several decades. The sharply domed stadium has been known citywide as “The Igloo” since its opening in 1961, a key inspiration when Pittsburgh’s beloved hockey franchise was first dubbed the “Penguins.” Now, for the first time in their 40 years of NHL play, the Pens will lace up their skates and take to a new home ice with the onset of the 2010-2011 season.Not to lament the loss of Mellon Arena’s familiar faades, after all, it was high time for an upgraded structure, but it may be a while before the freshly constructed Consol Energy Center truly feels like home for longtime Pittsburgh Penguins fans. A lot of memories were shared under the old, silver roof, from the team’s original glory days in the late 70′s and early 80′s to winning the Mario Lemieux Sweepstakes and the resulting success at the hands of the Lemieux/Jaromir Jagr line. More recently, the Igloo served as a backdrop to the franchises financial woes and near bankruptcy, before once again Mario Lemieux swooped in to save the team, this time from the owner’s box. After righting the sinking ship, the Penguins began to build the highly successful core of players who hoisted the Stanley Cup for the 3rd time in franchise history in 2009.As Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and company look to continue their legacy in the Penguins’ new state of the art area, it will be with high hopes for the future, but a solemn respect for the history housed at 66 Mario Lemieux Place.

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