In the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Jaromir Jagr. He was the first Czech to attend the NHL draft without have to defect. The selection of Jagr turned out to be a good one. Not only would he go on to be the franchise's second leading scorer of all-time, and win an NHL MVP award, but he was also an integral part of the Penguins' back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships in 1991 and 1992. The Pens of this era also featured Ron Francis, Joe Mullen, Mark Recchi, and Bryan Trottier. After their first title, the Penguins became the first NHL team to visit the White House.
Of course the real star of those Stanley Cup championship teams, and the real star of the franchise, is Mario Lemieux. As one of the greatest hockey players of all-time, Lemieux played 17 seasons with the Penguins, won three MVP awards, was the league's top scorer six times, and the MVP of the playoffs twice. Lemieux's achievements could have been far greater but he suffered from numerous injuries including back pain, tendinitis of a hip-flexor muscle, and a spinal disc herniation. In 1997, Hodgkin's lymphoma caused him to retired for three years. In 2006, atrial fibrillation forced him to retire for good. During his first retirement, Lemieux was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
After the team declared bankruptcy in 1998, Lemieux, as the one of the franchise's largest creditors, leverage the debt owed to him into team equity. Lemieu... Read more