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HomeSportsPenguins team name, explained: Discussing the meaning behind Pittsburgh's NHL club name

Penguins team name, explained: Discussing the meaning behind Pittsburgh’s NHL club name

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When you think of success in the NHL, especially in recent years, it’s impossible not to think of the Penguins. 

The Pittsburgh franchise has won three Stanley Cups in the last 15 years, including going back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. In total, the organization has five Cup wins, which is tied for the sixth-most in NHL history. 

Some of the greatest players of all time have donned the black and yellow, including Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr, Mario Lemieux, Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury. Not only is it a club with quite the history behind it, but it also owns one of the more unique team names in sports.

You won’t find any other professional teams with the team name the Penguins. It’s not exactly an intimidating name, nor does the city of Pittsburgh have any known connection to the animal. But it has been the name of a hockey organization for over half a century now. 

MORE: Connor Bedard leads latest NHL Central Scouting rankings

Here is more information on how the Pittsburgh franchise came up with the name of the Penguins.  

Why is Pittsburgh’s NHL team called the Penguins?

The meaning behind the team name is not quite as simple as Penguins are animals that frequent ice, the same surface hockey is played on. 

Sometimes, fans know what’s best. That’s the case for the Penguins name, which was decided on after a contest was held for the name for the new club, and Penguins received the most votes. 

The idea to call the team the Penguins came from the fact that fans began calling Pittsburgh’s rink the “Igloo”, due to its spherical top and white color. 

How long have the Penguins been in the NHL?

The Penguins’ franchise has been around for quite some time. The organization was formed in 1967 as a part of the six-team expansion initiated by the NHL. 

Only the Original Six clubs have been in the NHL longer than the Penguins and the other five expansion teams from 1967. 

It is the second franchise to call Pittsburgh home. Before the Penguins, the NHL had the Pittsburgh Pirates, who played from 1925 to 1930. 


Credit: sportingnews.com

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