We hate. We hate a lot. We hate our eternal rivals, thugs, Western Canadian Cup-stealers, Western Conference franchise player-stealers, and big-city blowhards with one Cup to show for seventy years of ineptitude. But most of all, we hate it when Lord Stanley's mug resides in someone else's trophy case. So until further notice, here's some reasons to hate the guys who have our birthright.
10 Things I Hate About the Pittsburgh Penguins
9. They have him and him. We wants them.
8. Pittsburgh. Penguins. Fuck alliteration. You sound like a high school team.
7. The CSKA Penguins. Does anyone remember this? The Pens went out and bought a stake in CSKA Moscow, only the most famous team in Russian hockey, and turned them into a walking joke. For any fan of the game's history, seeing the team of Kharmalov, the KLM line, Tretiak and Fetisov sporting that fucking ugly skating Penguin was a travesty.
6. Ulf Samuelson destroying Cam Neely's leg with a cheapshot ... no wait, that was FUCKING FANTASTIC. I fucking hate Cam Neely. Um ... Rick Kehoe's pornostache always freaked me out as a kid?
5. The Penguins historically comical uniform choices include this, this, this, and this. That's not even half of the changes, in just 42 years of existence. Pick. A. Fucking. Uniform. That. Doesn't. Suck.
4. Play-by-play man Mike Lange was amusing in Mario's heyday, but now he's an uncontrollable geyser of stupidity thanks to a thousand appearances on ESPN and TSN top tens. "Buy Sam a drink and get his dog one too"? Buy yourself a pistol and put us all out of our misery, for fucksakes.
3. Stole Ron Francis & Ulf Samuelsson for John Cullen and Zarley Zalapski. Fuck me.
2. Jaromir Jagr. The hair. The damn Jofa helmet with that hair. The fact that the Pens lucked into him at fifth overall and picked him with fucking awful, awful hair. The ridiculous luck of pairing Jagr with Lemieux (did I mention that fucking hair?)
1. 1975: The Pens creditors come knocking, since the team can't pay its bills. The fans aren't coming, the team is bankrupt, and just before the Pens are contracted or moved, a last-ditch effort saves them.
1983: The fans aren't coming to see the league worst Pens, the creditors are chasing the owners, Roberto Romano is starting games in goal to tank in an effort to get Mario Lemieux. Amazingly, a last-ditch effort saves the team from moving a second time.
1998: Despite having the talents of Lemieux, Jagr, Francis, Zubov, and others for the last decade, the Pens can't draw enough fans to the Igloo and start deferring player salaries. The team files for bankruptcy for the second time in their history, and (wait for it) only a last-ditch deal put together by Mario himself saves the team from moving for the third fucking time.
2001 and on: Still needing to cut costs, the Pens trade off Jagr, Alexei Kovalev, Robert Lang, Martin Straka and anyone else earning a major-league salary, plummeting to the basement a la 1983-84. The Pens end up picking no lower than 2nd for four straight years and end up with Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal to show for it.
So, to sum up: The Pens spend years struggling, the fans stay away, the team almost folds or contracts, the fans rally for a few years and fill the building when the high draft picks lead them to glory. Rinse. Repeat. Congratulations, you bunch of front-running fuckheads, you're the Florida Marlins of hockey!