Between the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League and their NHL affiliate in Pittsburgh, much more is shared than simply a synonymous mascot. The success of the Pittsburgh Penguins and their partners in Northeastern Pennsylvania has been actively intertwined since their affiliation began in 1999.
"The way we view it, it's really one team," said John Hynes, the AHL's 2011 Coach of the Year who is in his fourth season at the helm for Wilkes-Barre. "Between the management and coaches, we're on the same page as far as how we like to run the two teams and the values we want to have within our locker room."
It's a sense of unity that resonates across the board. Through the years, Pittsburgh has looked to Wilkes-Barre for the development of players such as goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, defensemen Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski, Ben Lovejoy, Rob Scuderi, Michal Rozsival and Brooks Orpik and forwards Mark Letestu and Maxime Talbot.