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Baby Pens 10th Season Team Announced

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
WILKES-BARRE, PA –  Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fans have made their voices heard in selecting the Penguins 10th Season Team.  Voting for the team of all-time greats was conducting through voting in the Scranton Times-Tribune, the Citizens Voice, and through the team’s website, www.wbspenguins.com.


Fans were asked to selected three forwards, two defensemen, one goaltender and one head coach.  The leading vote getters will be featured on special bobblehead figures to be given away at home games throughout the 2008-09 season, the team’s 10th in the American Hockey League.

All fans who selected the entire team correctly will receive one entry into a drawing for a pair of season tickets for the 2008-09 season.  That drawing will take place at the Penguins team offices at 670 North River Street on Monday, September 8.  The winner will be announced on the Penguins website, www.wbspenguins.com, where fans will be able to watch video of the actual winning selection.

The 10th Season Team as selected by the fans is:

FORWARDS:
COLBY ARMSTRONG (2002-2005) – A feisty and aggressive player, Armstrong was known for his fearless style during his three-plus seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  A first round draft choice (21st overall) by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2001, Armstrong recorded 129 points (46+83) in 251 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  He ranks eighth on the team’s all-time list in games played, tied for 13th in goals, seventh in assists and 10th in points.  Armstrong scored the game-winning goal in the longest game in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton history, beating Ray Emery at 12:26 of the third overtime to give the Penguins a 3-2 victory in Game Three of the East Division Semifinals on April 25, 2005.  Currently a member of the National Hockey League’s Atlanta Thrashers, Armstrong has recorded 109 points (41+68) and 181 penalty minutes in 199 NHL games with the Thrashers and Penguins.

DENNIS BONVIE (1999-2001, 2005-2008) – Professional hockey’s all-time penalty minutes leader, Bonvie became a fan favorite during his first stint with the team.  He led the club with 243 penalty minutes in just 42 games during the 1999-00 season, and totaled 464 penalty minutes in his first two years with the team, while chipping in with 54 points (10+44) in 107 games.  During that time he also suited up for 31 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins, going scoreless with 80 penalty minutes.  He returned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton prior to the 2005-06 season, and set a club record with 431 penalty minutes that year.  In five seasons with the AHL Penguins, Bonvie appeared in 285 games (fourth in team history) and picked up 1,283 penalty minutes.  An AHL All-Star with the Hamilton Bulldogs in 1995, Bonvie combined for 4,804 penalty minutes in 963 professional games.  He ranks 16th in AHL history with 871 games played.

TOM KOSTOPOULOS (1999-2004) – The leading scorer in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins history, Kostopoulos recorded 97 goals and 149 assists while suiting up in a team-record 318 games.  Selected by Pittsburgh in the seventh round (204th overall) in 1999, Kostopoulos led Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in scoring during the 2001-02 season, and represented the team at the AHL All-Star Game in St. John’s, Newfoundland.  The Penguins’ captain from 2002-04, Kostopoulos also holds the team record for career power play goals (31).  Currently a member of the National Hockey League’s Montreal Canadiens, Kostopoulos has recorded 83 points (32+51) and 362 penalty minutes in 298 NHL games with the Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings.


DEFENSEMEN:
ALAIN NASREDDINE (2004-2008) – Acquired by Pittsburgh from the New York Islanders on March 8, 2004, Nasreddine went on to become one of the most reliable defensemen in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton history.  He appeared in 249 regular season games (11th in team history), recording 55 points (13+42, tied for sixth among team defensemen).  He also suited up for a team-record 57 playoff games during his four-plus seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  Originally drafted by the Florida Panthers in the sixth round (135th overall) in 1993, Nasreddine has recorded five points (1+4) in 74 NHL games with Pittsburgh, the Islanders, the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks.

JOHN SLANEY (1999-2001) – The most prolific scoring defenseman in AHL history, Slaney recorded 519 points (166+353) in 631 games between 1991 and 2007.  During his first season with the Penguins, Slaney set an AHL record for goals by a defenseman in one season with 30, a mark that also led the team during its inaugural season.  His 60 points (30+30) in just 49 games during the 1999-2000 campaign also paced the team, and earned Slaney a spot in the AHL All-Star Game.  Slaney added another 50 points (12+38) in 40 games during the 2000-01 season, earning a second All-Star Game nod.  He was traded on the eve of that game (played in Wilkes-Barre) to the Philadelphia Phantoms for Kevin Stevens.  His 110 career points with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton rank 13th on the team’s all-time list, while his 42 goals and 68 assists are both tied for 15th.  He ranks second among team defenseman in all-time scoring, trailing only Ross Lupaschuk (116 points).

GOALTENDER:
MARC-ANDRE FLEURY (2004-2006, 2008)
– The first overall pick in the 2003 NHL draft by Pittsburgh, Fleury ranks tied for third in team history with 71 games played and five career shutouts and second with 39 wins.  The acrobatic netminder holds the team marks for games played in a season (54), minutes played in a season (3029:27) and shutouts in a season (5), and ranks second with 26 wins.  All of those marks came during the 2004-05 campaign.  He was named the AHL’s Goaltender of the Month for October 2005, when he posted a perfect 6-0-0 record with a 1.17 goals against average and .955 save percentage.  He has since gone on to record a 76-84-2 record in parts of four NHL seasons with Pittsburgh.  He recorded 40 wins during the 2006-07 season, and helped guide the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008, posting 14 wins and a 1.97 goals against average along the way.

HEAD COACH:
MICHEL THERRIEN (2003-2005)
– A strict disciplinarian, Therrien was hired prior to the team’s fifth season, and made an immediate impact on the club.  He led the Penguins to the Calder Cup Finals in his first season behind the bench, and followed that up with a then club-record 39 victories in 2004-05.  That season Therrien guided the club to a first round upset of the Binghamton Senators, who had posted the AHL’s top record in the regular season.  The former Montreal Canadiens head coach helped the team to an incredible 21-1-2-1 record to start the 2005-06 campaign, setting a new professional hockey record for consecutive road victories (15 games, April 10, 2005-Dec. 3, 2005) and an AHL record for consecutive games with a point to start the season (23 games, Oct. 5-Dec. 4, 2005; 20-0-2-1 record for 43 points).  That led to Therrien being promoted to head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Dec. 15, 2005.  He helped Pittsburgh to one of the biggest turnarounds in NHL history, as the 2006-07 squad posted a 47 point improvement over the previous season.  He then guided the Penguins to an Atlantic Division Title in 2007-08 and a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals.  He ranks second in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton history with 94 victories.
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