The Penguins are working hard to turn the younger and the youngest generations into hockey fans, and its working. It’s not just about Western Pennsylvania players turning up in the NHL at an outrageous rate -- while Pittsburgh rarely produces an NBA player. It’s a generational thing. Where once fathers passed on to their sons a love of football and baseball and maybe basketball, now dads are talking hockey to their kids.
And something ridiculously impressive that I didn't know about:
Their TV ratings for this season are up close to 30 percent over last year, at which time they had the best local ratings of all U.S teams in the NHL and the NBA.
Translation - the local ratings for Penguins games are better than the local ratings for the Knicks, Bulls, Celtics, Heat, or Lakers.
Id love to see a quasi scientific poll of all 12-18 year olds in Pittsburgh asking who they like best. If the Penguins won it wouldn't surprise me.