Ever since September 1999, the Pittsburgh Penguins were owned by all-time great player Mario Lemieux and business partner Ron Burkle.
In January 2022, the Penguins were taken over by Boston based Fenway Sports Group (FSG) who stepped in as majority owners.
Since FSG’s arrival to Pittsburgh, there has been talks of them making major changes, not just in the front office, but also the on-ice product.
The offseason of 2022 is set to be one of the most important in franchise history; Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are upcoming free agents and the team lost in the opening round of the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
Something that FSG is capable of doing that not many others around the organization or fan base can do is taking the emotion out of negotiations.
FSG is new to the team and hasn’t been a part of the Penguins ups and downs over the last 16 years, so they don’t have the same kind of feelings towards Malkin and Letang.
While bringing those two back will be a great story and add years to the memories made, it’s possible ownership doesn’t view them as best for the team’s near and far future success.
“Let’s not forget you had an ownership change,” Pens historian Bob Grove told 93.7 the Fan. “At some point in this equation you have to take the emotion out of it. And you have to look at how you’re trying to build your team to be successful.”
With deep pockets, FSG will do whatever it takes to put a winner on the ice; if that means walking away from a pair of future hall of famers, they’re ready to do it.
“They’ve got lots of pieces to move around and it’s not just those two guys,” Grove said referring to Malkin and Letang.
Hockey is a business, and sometimes teams and organizations have to do what’s best for their success.
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