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Pittsburgh named No. 1 in fan engagement despite early playoff exit

This could pause the ongoing chatter...

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There has been lots of controversial chatter surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins ever since they were eliminated by the Washington Capitals in the second round of the postseason, however, there seems to be something now to cheer about for the local fans. 

The National Hockey League website has revealed on Thursday that "Pittsburgh was named the No. 2 NHL city in the U.S. and the No. 1 in fan engagement in rankings released this week by WalletHub."

Here is the rest of the statement made by the NHL, reporting the results from the website WalletHub:

"The website' said it "crunched the numbers to determine the best places for hockey enthusiasts." Wallet Hub's expert panel ranked 73 U.S. cities based on 21 key indicators, including attendance, team performance, arena capacity and social media.

Pittsburgh's rankings:

  • No. 1 in fan engagement
  • No. 2 for fans in the NHL, behind only Detroit
  • No. 3 for fans in hockey overall (including college hockey), behind Boston and Detroit."

Fans in Pittsburgh have been focusing on the many trade rumors concerning forward Phil Kessel. It all started a few days ago when a huge trade rumor leaked out when 105.9 FM radio host Mark Madden revealed that his sources had informed him that the Penguins were actively shopping Kessel to rival teams in an effort to trade him. Madden cited sources both close to the team as well as Kessel himself, adding that the forward himself would be ok with the idea of being traded by the franchise. 

Later on during a radio hit on Sportsnet 960 in Calgary, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman added additional credibility to the report from Madden by echoing the fact that he believes the Penguins are looking to shop Kessel. When asked whether or not it was close to becoming a reality Friedman hesitated a little.

"Well, I think what you have to be careful of is when you say ‘closer to becoming a reality,’ do they have a partner yet,” said Friedman as per Fanrag's Chris Nichols“I do think Mark’s right on. I don’t have any reason to doubt his reporting. He knows that organization really well and I think there is truth to that. But I just think it’s going to be a kind of complicated deal."

However today's report surely can let Penguins fans cheer about something positive.