1997–98 Pittsburgh Penguins season

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1997–98 Pittsburgh Penguins
Division 1st Northeast
1997–98 record 40–24–18
Goals for 228
Goals against 188
Team information
General Manager Craig Patrick
Coach Kevin Constantine
Captain Ron Francis
Alternate captains Kevin Hatcher
Jaromir Jagr
Arena Pittsburgh Civic Arena
Team leaders
Goals Jaromir Jagr (35)
Assists Jaromir Jagr (67)
Points Jaromir Jagr (102)
Penalties in minutes Chris Tamer (181)
Wins Tom Barrasso (31)
Goals against average Peter Skudra (1.83)
<1996–97 1998–99>

The 1997–98 Pittsburgh Penguins season was the team's 31st in the National Hockey League. It was their first season under head coach Kevin Constantine and first after the first retirement of Mario Lemieux.

Offseason[edit]

Following the 1996-97 season, which saw their Hall of Fame star Mario Lemieux retire, the Penguins attempted to keep their recent run of success rolling. Over the previous nine seasons, no NHL team had been more successful than Pittsburgh in terms of regular-season points, although the team had not won a Stanley Cup since 1992 (part of the reason why coach Eddie Johnston was asked to step down following the 1996-97 season). Former San Jose Sharks coach Kevin Constantine was hired as Johnston's successor, promising to replace his predecessor's free-form style of play with a more disciplined approach. Also, Ron Francis was named captain in Lemieux's absence, and the team acquired center Martin Straka via free agency to add offensive punch. In addition, they picked up the rights to solid defenceman Jiri Slegr, who had spent the 1996-97 season playing for Sodertalje in Sweden.

Regular season[edit]

The Penguins tied the Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers and New York Islanders for most short-handed goals allowed, with 16.[1]

Final standings[edit]

Northeast Division
No. GP W L T GF GA Pts
1 Pittsburgh Penguins 82 40 24 18 228 188 98
2 Boston Bruins 82 39 30 13 221 194 91
3 Buffalo Sabres 82 36 29 17 211 187 89
4 Montreal Canadiens 82 37 32 13 235 208 87
5 Ottawa Senators 82 34 33 15 193 200 83
6 Carolina Hurricanes 82 33 41 8 200 219 74
Eastern Conference[2]
R Div GP W L T GF GA Pts
1 New Jersey Devils ATL 82 48 23 11 225 166 107
2 Pittsburgh Penguins NE 82 40 24 18 228 188 98
3 Philadelphia Flyers ATL 82 42 29 11 242 193 95
4 Washington Capitals ATL 82 40 30 12 219 202 92
5 Boston Bruins NE 82 39 30 13 221 194 91
6 Buffalo Sabres NE 82 36 29 17 211 187 89
7 Montreal Canadiens NE 82 37 32 13 235 208 87
8 Ottawa Senators NE 82 34 33 15 193 200 83
9 Carolina Hurricanes NE 82 33 41 8 200 219 74
10 New York Islanders ATL 82 30 41 11 212 225 71
11 New York Rangers ATL 82 25 39 18 197 231 68
12 Florida Panthers ATL 82 24 43 15 203 256 63
13 Tampa Bay Lightning ATL 82 17 55 10 151 269 44

Divisions: ATL – Atlantic, NE – Northeast

bold – Qualified for playoffs


Schedule and results[edit]

1997–98 Schedule
Legend:           = Win           = Loss           = Tie

Playoffs[edit]

1998 Stanley Cup Finals
Legend:           = Win           = Loss

Player statistics[edit]

Skaters
Goaltenders
Regular Season[5]
Player GP GS TOI W L T OT GA GAA SA SV% SO G A PIM
Barrasso, TomTom Barrasso 63 60 3,542:07 31 14 13 0 122 2.07 1556 0.922 7 0 2 14
Skudra, PeterPeter Skudra 17 12 851:23 6 4 3 1 26 1.83 341 0.924 0 0 1 2
Wregget, KenKen Wregget 15 9 611:26 3 6 2 1 28 2.75 293 0.904 0 0 0 6
Playoffs[6]
Player GP GS TOI W L OT GA GAA SA SV% SO G A PIM
Barrasso, TomTom Barrasso 6 6 376:19 2 4 1 17 2.71 171 .901 0 0 0 2

Denotes player spent time with another team before joining the Penguins. Stats reflect time with the Penguins only.
Denotes player was traded mid-season. Stats reflect time with the Team only.
     – Denotes league leader.

Awards and records[edit]

Transactions[edit]

The Penguins have been involved in the following transactions during the 1997–98 season:[7]

Trades[edit]

August 12, 1997 To Edmonton Oilers:
1998 third-round pick (#82–Brian Gionta)
To Pittsburgh Penguins:
Jiří Šlégr
September 24, 1997[8] To Buffalo Sabres:
Jason Woolley
To Pittsburgh Penguins:
1998 fifth-round pick (#134–Rob Scuderi)
September 28, 1997[9] To Colorado Avalanche:
Francois Leroux
To Pittsburgh Penguins:
1998 third-round pick (#80–David Cameron)
October 22, 1997[10] To Chicago Blackhawks:
Greg Johnson
To Pittsburgh Penguins:
Tuomas Gronman
March 24, 1998[11] To Mighty Ducks:
rights to Patrick Lalime
To Pittsburgh Penguins:
Sean Pronger
June 16, 1998 To Edmonton Oilers:
rights to Josef Beranek
To Pittsburgh Penguins:
Bobby Dollas
Tony Hrkac
June 17, 1998 To Calgary Flames:
Ken Wregget
Dave Roche
To Pittsburgh Penguins:
German Titov
Todd Hlushko

Free agents lost[edit]

Player New team Date
Jeff Christian Phoenix Coyotes August 4, 1997
Robert Lang[9] Boston Bruins September 28, 1997
Drake Berehowsky Edmonton Oilers September 30, 1997