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Jack McGregor, Penguins' founder, reflects on birth of Pittsburgh's franchise

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USA TODAY Sports’ Kevin Allen explains why Pittsburgh and Nashville can feel good about their chances heading into Game 5.
USA TODAY Sports

Corrections and clarifications: A previous version of this story misidentified Andy Bathgate’s team.

PITTSBURGH – When Jack McGregor was awarded the Pittsburgh NHL franchise in 1966 as its first owner, his then-wife Carol McGregor came up with the name “Penguins” because she considered it a perfect fit for a sport associated with wintry conditions.

“She liked the alliteration, the two Ps, Pittsburgh Penguins, like the Pittsburgh Pirates,” McGregor told USA TODAY Sports. “She thought it made sense because Penguins lived on snow and ice.”

But when McGregor informed his general manager Jack Riley and coach Red Sullivan about what the expansion team would be called, they didn’t share the McGregors’ enthusiasm.

“Riley said, ‘We will be laughed out of town,’ ” McGregor said….

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