It’s a Hockey Night in Pittsburgh!

The Penguins drafted Mario Lemieux 30 years ago, forever changing the fortunes of a once-struggling franchise.

While professional ice hockey in Pittsburgh dates back to 1895, one Penguins player elevated the city’s love for the game like no other before. Drafted with the first overall selection 30 years ago on June 9, 1984, Mario Lemieux forever changed the fortunes of the Penguins’ franchise and became one of the greatest players in National Hockey League history.

Fans can experience “Magnificent” Mario with Lemieux’s 1991 Stanley Cup jersey and other game worn items.

Sharpen your skates and glide like Mario through the history of ice hockey in Western Pennsylvania, from its early beginnings at the iconic Duquesne Gardens, through the founding of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1967, to the team’s three Stanley Cup Championships. Along the way, enjoy game-used artifacts from today’s stars, including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Marc-Andre Fleury.

Exhibit Must-Sees
  • Duquesne Gardens: Transformed from a trolley barn and located in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood, the Duquesne Gardens housed the world’s largest indoor hockey rink and a second floor ballroom, making it one of the nation’s premiere indoor venues. Learn more about the building’s rich history, from the founding of the Ice Capades to the success of the Pittsburgh Hornets, the minor league professional hockey team which captured three Calder Cups from 1951-67.
  • Let’s Go Pens! Let’s Go Pens! See artifacts from the greatest players in Penguins’ history, including Lemieux’s skates, Sidney Crosby’s hockey stick from his record-setting rookie season in 2005, and Ron Francis’ All-Star jersey from 1996.
  • Protect the Net: Pose like former Penguins goalie Tom Barrasso and take a photo of yourself making the game-winning save.

Artifact Spotlight: Mario Lemieux 1991 Stanley Cup Jersey

Mario Lemieux Stanley Cup jersey

Mario Lemieux captained the Pittsburgh Penguins to their first Stanley Cup Championship in 1991, defeating the Minnesota North Stars, four games to two. Lemieux, who missed the first 50 games of the 1990-91 season due to back surgery, was a major force in the playoffs. In 15 games, he scored 16 goals and notched 18 assists to win the Conn Smythe Trophy for most valuable player of the playoffs.

History Minute

Learn about Pittsburgh 120 year history of hockey as part of these KQV Radio History Minutes recorded by History Center President and CEO Andy Masich.

Exhibit Gallery