PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Two beloved Pittsburgh sports figures brought down the house at PPG Paints Arena Tuesday night.READ MORE: West Virginia Lifts Social Gathering Limit, Allows Maskless Exercising
First, Marc-Andre Fleury, beloved for his smiling face, prankster personality and heart-stopping saves, returned home to Pittsburgh.
KDKA’s Rick Dayton Reports:
Fleury may now be a member of the Vegas Golden Knights, but Pittsburgh’s love for him is still strong.
Fleury was honored in the first period of the game with a video tribute and lengthy standing ovation by Penguins’ fans. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, including Fleury.
“Happy I had a mask on. You know? They always do a good job with these and just a lot of good memories and a lot of years. Started a while ago and some fond memories,” Fleury said.
“That was pretty special. I don’t know I’ve ever seen a tribute that long before,” said Eric Wortzman, a Penguins’ fan from Ross Township.
Three-time Stanley Cup Champion.
Two-time Penguins MVP.
One incredible goaltender and human being.
Thank you for everything, Flower. pic.twitter.com/sXSFwmmUeP
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 7, 2018
He’s remembered as one of the best teammates in Pittsburgh Penguins’ history.READ MORE: New Jersey Man Dies In Pennsylvania Skydiving Accident
“It was phenomenal,” said fan Debbie Rossi, of Cecil Township. “I had tears in my eyes. I think so did everyone in the building! It was awesome.”
“I love Fleury. Happy to see him, wish he was still here, but he’ll always be a Pittsburgher,” said Darlene Cramer, a fan from Peters Township.
Earlier in the day, he received his third Stanley Cup championship ring from Mario Lemieux, David Morehouse, Jim Rutherford and the coaching staff.
Underestimating Pittsburgh’s love for him, Fleury told Lemieux, “Hopefully the fans don’t throw too many tomatoes.”
Mario: “Should be fun tonight!”
Fleury: “A little weird, maybe. Hopefully the fans don’t throw too many tomatoes (laughs).” pic.twitter.com/PxMwqo0iXr
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 6, 2018
Following the Fleury tribute, fans were surprised when injured Pittsburgh Steelers’ linebacker Ryan Shazier showed up on the Jumbotron. He was in attendance at the game and stood for fans as they gave him an ovation.
A well-deserved STANDING ovation for this guy.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 7, 2018MORE NEWS: UPMC Doctor Details Common Coronavirus Vaccine Hesitancies
Shazier suffered a spinal injury in a game last year, but has been making some amazing progress in his recovery lately. The latest update was that he reportedly has movement in his legs, but can’t yet walk on his own.