This story was originally written by Pittsburgh Press Staff Writer Pete Wevurski and was published on Tuesday, June 2nd, 1981.
It was a press conference that could have titled, "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About The Penguins-But Could Never Get Us All Into One Room At The Same Time To Ask," but the biggest news item about the Black-and-Gold skaters didn't come out yesterday's luncheon in the Civic Arena's Igloo Club at all.
Instead, it was leaked out of Edmonton last night but television station CFRN that Penguin defenseman Randy Carlyle will receive two of the NHL's major post-season awards.
The announcement was to be made that the NHL Thursday that Carlyle is the recipient of the Norris trophy as the league's best defenseman and Kehoe of the Lady Byng Trophy as the player who best combined skill with sportsmanship.
The TV station broke release date to announce that Edmonton Oilers scoring ace Wayne Gretsky won his second straight Hart trophy as league MVP and would also receive the Art Ross Trophy as NHL scoring champ.
The telecast, reported by UPI, also disclosed that Czech defector Peter Stastny, who became a cornerstone of the Quebec Nordiques this past season, would receive Rookie of the Year honors. Bob Gainey of the Montreal Canadiens will get the Fran Selke Award for the best defensive forward.
None of this was known, of course, yesterday when Penguin Vice President Paul Martha, General Manager Baz Bastien and Coach Eddie Johnston hosted the media to announce a catalog of tidbits:
Bastien signed coveted junior defenseman Randy Boyd, right wing Doug Shedden and left win Pat Graham.
Lou Angotti, Johnston's former teammate and coach at St. Louis will join Mike Corrigan as an assistant coach.
Negotiations with goalie Greg Millen, center Greg Maline and left wing Gary Rissling, all of whom became free agents yesterday, are continuing and the Penguins are hoping all three will re-sign pacts.
The Penguin braintrust will meet soon with veteran left wing Ross Lonsberry to discuss his future with the club that now enjoys a wealth of young talent.
Center Orest Kindrachuk, limited by injuries to 27 games in the past season and a half, will not be offered a contract until he is pronounced physically capable of returning to the NHL wars for his 10th campaign.
The Penguins would dearly love to sign free agent Bob Bourne but they fear two things: the New Yorm Islanders will demand Kehoe or Carlye as compensation and that the Los Angeles Kings will win the bidding war for the aggressive left wing.
If they can't get Bourne, Boston's Stan Jonathan would be the free agent they'll woo to play left wing with Kehoe and center Paul Gardner.
Quebec goalie Dan Bouchard interests them but, again, they fear an exorbitant compensation demand from the Nordiques.
Another NHL team will be asked to place minor-league players with the Penguins' Erie Blades farm team, which will be operated on a 50-50 basis between Debartolo Corp. and the Erie ownership tandem of Dr. John Caruso and Ben Kasper. Later, The Press learned that the Boston Bruins, whose contract with the Springfield Indians of the American League has expired, are interested in such a working agreement.
The Penguins intend to add another scout to concentrate on Quebec province.
The new target date for control of the Civic Arena by Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. is July 1 and planned renovations (previously valued at $7 million by Vince Bartimo, club president) will include new home and visiting locker rooms, training facilities for the Penguins, repainting the interior and exterior of the domed structure, a restaurant, and perhaps an adjacent multi-level parking garage.
The arena takeover, said Martha, is only the first step of the DeBartolo Corp.'s involvement in Pittsburgh. To make it a profitable first step, the return of the Spirit indoor soccer team, pro wrestling and boxing is planned, as is an expanded college basketball schedule.
Inside the Igloo-Carlyle is only the fourth player to win the Norris Trophy in the past 14 years. Bobby Orr of the Bruins won it eight consecutive years, followed by the Islanders' Denis Potvin (three times) and Montreal's Larry Robinson (twice)… The Penguins previously never had a major post-season award winner, although Lowell McDonald received the Bill Masteron Trophy (for perseverance, dedication and sportsmanship) in 1973… The Pens have never had a player voted to the post-season All-Star team, either, but Carlyle has to be considered a front-runner at defense for this year's squad, which will be announced tomorrow morning… Voting for the All-Star team and major awards was done by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Boyd, 19, was selected in the third round (51sr overall) in last June's amateur draft as the Pens beat the St. Louis Blues to the punch for the rugged puck-handler. He was named the outstanding defenseman in the Ontario Hockey Association and was voted to the OHA All-Star team. He has 11 goals and 43 assists in 64 games with Ottawa and added two goals and three assists in seven playoff games. Most NHL clubs have offered a first-round pick for Boyd… Shedden, 20, tallied 51 goals and 72 assists for Sault Ste. Marie, with 16 goals and 22 assists in 19 playoffs games… Graham, 20, netted 40 goals and 54 assists for Nigara Falls then added four goals and seven assists in the playoffs.