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Penguins Skating penguin logo returns to center ice

Thursday, August 22, 2002

By Dejan Kovacevic, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

The skating penguin is all the way back.

The skating penguin is back.

When the Penguins unveil their new home sweaters today at a Mellon Arena news conference, they also will rechristen their original logo as their official symbol. It will adorn virtually all team merchandise, publications and promotions.

The original logo, created for the franchise with its inception in 1967, made its return to the uniform two years ago, when it was the main crest on the black, alternate sweaters. But the modern logo that was adopted in 1992 had remained the franchise's primary symbol.

The modern logo -- derided by many fans for looking too corporate or for too closely resembling a pigeon -- never caught on. Perhaps that's because it was created immediately after the Penguins' consecutive Stanley Cup championships in 1991-92, when then-owner Howard Baldwin sought to capitalize on the team's success by boosting sales of merchandise.

Nearly everyone in the Penguins' upper management since Mario Lemieux bought the team in 1999 had expressed a desire to bring back the original logo, but it wasn't until Lemieux set the wheels in motion in the past few months that the reversal was complete. Lemieux has often stated his affinity for the original logo, mostly because of its prominence in the championship years.

The Penguins' new sweaters will be a white version of the alternate sweaters from last season. Those alternate sweaters will become the full-time road uniforms, and there will be no third sweater for the foreseeable future.

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