PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two things we know about sports — whether you’re a player or a fan — people love nicknames and everyone is superstitious about something.
And the Penguins are no different. KDKA’s Jory Rand has a behind-the-scenes look at what you don’t see on the ice.
Back before the Penguins season even began, KDKA asked Sidney Crosby how his new teammate, Brandon Sutter, was going to replace Jordan Staal.
The Penguins captain said: “I think Staalsy’s Staalsy; but that being said, you know, Suttsy’s a great hockey player. If we’re going to lose a guy like Staalsy, to replace him with Suttsy, I think we’re pretty lucky.”
That got us here at KDKA to thinking – Staalsy, Suttsy, Cookie, Brooksie, Nealer – hockey players, like no other athletes, have these nicknames.
So, KDKA went back to the Pens to see how one of those nicknames has evolved.
“Suttsy’s got a new one, Flat Stanley,” said Penguins forward Chris Kunitz, “that elementary cut-out thing that people carry around.”
“Flat Stanley’s starting to catch for him… not one of the biggest guys in the league. I think Duper [Pascal Dupuis] started it,” Pens forward Joe Vitale said. “It’s been a pretty good one so far.”
But Sutter says of the nickname, “I’m not a huge fan of the ‘Flat Stanley.’”
“Also, I think ‘Goose,’ another one… from ‘Top Gun,’” said Crosby. “I think he likes that one.”
“’Goose’ I like. I think ‘Goose’ might stick,” said Sutter. “That, and actually ‘A-Rog.’ They’ve been calling me ‘A-Rog’ – Aaron Rodgers. They think I look like him. There’s been a few going around, but I think ‘Goose’ and ‘A-Rog’ are fine with me.”
“New guy, need a new nickname,” Crosby added.
But it’s Sid who had better watch out because it doesn’t take long for new players to notice that there’s plenty to throw back in his direction.
“I think No. 87 probably takes the cake there,” said Sutter of the superstitious captain of the Penguins. “It’s like a walking encyclopedia over there. You can see what he’s doing every day. He’s got a few things that are pretty funny.”
“How much time do you have? I don’t know,” Crosby said of his habits.
“Well, I noticed he kind of walks around the one garbage can in the dressing room, the same one all the time,” said Sutter.
“I don’t know why, I just like to have my stick by my stall,” said Crosby. ‘I just like to keep my sticks by my bench and that’s probably a different one than most guys.”