In 1965, Peter Block and State Senator Jack McGregor set out to secure an expansion franchise for Pittsburgh.
The National Hockey League granted a franchise to Pittsburgh along with the Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota North Stars, St. Louis Blues and the California Golden Seals.
McGregor’s wife, Carol, is credited with the original name and the colors were originally black and white before Jack Riley, the team’s first General Manager, came up with the colors of Colombia blue, Navy blue and white.
Riley, an Ontario native, chose the colors of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League and also of St. Michael’s College in Ontario.
The team’s first Coach, Red Sullivan, a former Rangers player, urged the team to use the diagonal PITTSBURGH font that the Rangers used.
The original sweaters were made by General Athletic and customized by the Gerry Cosby Co. of New York, the same company that did the familiar Rangers font.
The jerseys from 1967-68 featured a tie-down lace at the collar and were worn for only one season.The Penguins wore their blue (darker colors were worn at home) uniforms for their first regular sason game on October 11, 1967, against the Montreal Canadiens.
Bob Gessner designed the original scarf logo featuring the skating penguin in front of a gold triangle — symbolic of the city’s Golden Triangle, but it was never used on a jersey – only on pucks and team letterhead. It was widely believed that the set of blue jerseys were accidently destroyed, and one gentlemen in Pittsburgh insists a bag of jerseys were found ruined, but is unsure if they were the blue or white jerseys.
Recent research conducted by Penguins’ jersey expert, Casey Samuelson at PenguinsChronicles.com, suggests the set of blue jerseys not only survived, but were worn by the University of Pittsburgh as late as March 26, 1972. At right is a photo that shows Pitt goaltender Mark Lieberman wearing a blue version of the 1967-68 uniform.