Tag: Consol Energy Center


Jaromir Jagr’s “brain doesn’t understand” the Pittsburgh hate


Jaromir Jagr’s return to the NHL has been as glorious as anyone could have expected. He’s playing outstanding hockey alongside Claude Giroux, generally loving life as an unlikely member of the Philadelphia Flyers and the 39-year-old veteran is providing great quotes when he’s off the ice.

Just about everyone is happy for the future Hall of Famer … everyone except fans from the city where he built much of that staggering resume, that is. Jagr knows what he’s in for as the Flyers visit the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow night, but as he told Anthony J. Sanfilippo, he’s not entirely sure why he’ll receive such an angry greeting.

“How, in a situation like that, can there be so much bad attitude and anger from those people? I don’t get it.” Jagr said. “What kind of world are we in right now? That’s (bleeping) scary. We should be in a world with a lot of love. Instead there’s one guy, who is 40 years old, who is almost done, and he’s causing all that (animosity) over hockey? My brain just doesn’t understand that.”

I’ll be honest: my brain doesn’t really understand it, either. Jagr does a fine job of explaining the rather hilarious love-hate-love-really-hate relationship in Pittsburgh.

“When I left Pittsburgh I was traded,” Jagr said. “The first time I came back with Washington everybody booed me so bad. But I was traded. I didn’t leave. But they are going to hate me anyway. They’ve hated me for seven years. Then, when there is a chance that I am going to go back there, all of the sudden they switch for one or two months? Then I don’t go, and they go back to hating me, but even more than before. I don’t get it. I don’t know what kind of world we’re living in. I don’t get it.”

Jilted lovers

The Pittsburgh hate seems a little misguided, but nostalgia can be an intoxicating feeling. In a way, Penguins fans looked back at their time with Jagr like one would look at an up-and-down relationship; you tend to gloss over the painful dates in favor of those rare long walks on the beach.

When Jagr signed with the Flyers, it was like that same ex cheating on them again.

Whether it makes sense or not, Jagr’s first trip to the Consol Energy Center will seem a lot like his previous visits to the Igloo: full of boos. Don’t blame Jagr if he bares a wistful grin or two, though.

Report: 2012 NHL Draft is coming to Pittsburgh

The Igloo, CONSOL Energy Center
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With the Winter Classic stuff out of the way for the NHL to be poorly secretive over, their next badly kept secret is about to be let out of the bag.

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the NHL will announce on Thursday that the 2012 NHL Draft will be in Pittsburgh. After the draft had been out west the last two year in Los Angeles and Minnesota, it was time for the big event to come back east and with a brand new facility like the CONSOL Energy Center to show off in Pittsburgh, it made too much sense to go there.

With the Winter Classic in Philadelphia and now the draft set to be in Pittsburgh, maybe we can find NHL events for other cities in Pennsylvania as well. I hear Harrisburg needs money, maybe we can get them something too. Maybe a little something in Allentown or Hershey or Wilkes-Barre while we’re at it. NBC’s The Office is set in Scranton – I’m smelling crossover potential here.

Goodbye to the Igloo? Pittsburgh Civic Arena set to be demolished on Monday

The Igloo, CONSOL Energy Center
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For decades in Pittsburgh, “The Igloo” was the iconic home of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Known less so by its proper name, Pittsburgh Civic Arena, the legendary building has been in danger ever since the Penguins’ new home, CONSOL Energy Center, was built.

With CONSOL being across the street from The Igloo and parking at a premium, The Igloo has been in danger of being torn down to make room for new new office buildings and living space. Fans have been doing their part for the last year to try and find a way to save The Igloo, but their efforts may have finally come to an end.

People in Pittsburgh have been trying to file a federal appeal to get the demolition of The Igloo stopped, but a federal appeals court has refused to hear the appeal thus paving the way for the legendary building to be knocked down.

The decision gives the city-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority, the Igloo’s owner, the go-ahead to start the demolition of the 50-year-old landmark Monday morning.

“It’s just a sad day. I think a lot of people are going to miss this building,” said Scott Leib, president of Preservation Pittsburgh.

Preservation Pittsburgh sought an emergency injunction before the circuit court after U.S. District Judge David S. Cercone threw out the group’s lawsuit aimed at blocking the razing.

It argued that the redevelopment of the arena’s 28-acre Hill District site would require federal highway funds and therefore a federal review of the plan to demolish the historic building.

But Judge Cercone said the group failed to convince him that there would be any federal involvement in the project and that he lacked jurisdiction to halt the work.

It’s a sad day for fans of both Penguins fans and appreciators of Jean-Claude Van Damme movies to see The Igloo meet this demise. While the building itself was one of the most unique in the league and in the country (the roof was once retractable and made to be a major concert venue), its unique traits aren’t enough to keep it around in Pittsburgh.

It’ll be sad to see The Igloo go because it was the home of such legendary Penguins teams. From the team’s early days in the late 1960s on through to Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby. We’ll remember The Igloo for all the great games and teams that it hosted and bid it a fond farewell when it’s time for it to finally come down.