PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Penguins will start heading back to town as the start of training camp draws near.
But Tuesday, it was the older Penguins who were out and about.
They make up a large part of Pittsburgh’s hockey history. From 1967 to today, it’s a who’s who.
“Just in the short period of time, I have seen a lot of people that I haven’t seen in a long time, but today’s a special day because I have former teammates here and a lot of guys who I have known over the years in hockey and I haven’t seen in a while, so this will be a lot of fun,” General Manager Jim Rutherford said.
With a heavy emphasis on fun, owner Mario Lemieux is one of the first to start the friendly ribbing.
“You know, you guys might want to back up.”
And no one is safe.
“Everybody goes back into that locker room character, and that’s the fun part for us because then you can start teasing each other remembering, telling stories and reminiscing,” said Pens alum Bryan Trottier.
KDKA’s Rick Dayton: “Are you saying you have not forgotten those stories — that if somebody did something ridiculous that you are going to bring that up 20 years, 30 years later?”
Trottier: “Absolutely. You are still poking him, you are still trying to hit that button that gets a rise out of them.”
Yes it’s a lot of fun, but it’s also about giving back to the fans and to the community.
“It is understood that you get out in the community. Just because you are an NHL player you can’t just sit at home on the couch every single night,” said Pens alum Phil Bourque. “There are certain responsibilities of wearing that black and gold, and it has to do with this little corner of southwestern Pennsylvania and how much of a connection between their athletes and the fans.”
Including the Penguins’ alums and the former coaches, there are 132 players in the field. Together they are working to raise money for three charities, including the Mario Lemieux Foundation.
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