The Hornets were the city’s first professional hockey team to gain a large fan interest in Pittsburgh. Operating from 1936 to 1967, the team played as a minor league affiliate to the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs for the American Hockey League. Playing their home games at the Duquesne Gardens and Civic Arena, the team would go on to win four division titles and three Calder Cup championships.
In 1966, it was announced that the NHL was expanding, and bringing a pro team to Pittsburgh. Since the new team would play in the Civic Arena, the league had no choice but to shut down the Hornets. Not to be outdone, the Hornets would go on to win the Calder Cup during that season, in their final year as a franchise. Since it ended up being the Penguins that replaced the Hornets, it is hard to complain. However; it is important to show the Hornets respect for the game they made popular