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Penguins Camp: Thousands at CEC for first practice

Saturday, 09.17.2011 / 10:28 AM

By Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent / Super Saturday

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Super Saturday
Penguins Camp: Thousands at CEC for first practice
PITTSBURGH -- Saturday wasn't a day to sleep in for Pittsburgh Penguins fans.

The Penguins are offering free admission to their first two days of training camp, and thousands of fans filled much of Consol Energy Center's lower bowl for a 9 a.m. EDT session Saturday. Concession stands were open and parking was free at lots adjacent to the uptown arena, and a majority of the fans wore team jerseys or apparel.

The 52 players available for Saturday's practice were divided into three groups, with forwards Jordan Staal, Chris Kunitz and James Neal and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury among the first on the ice. Sidney Crosby, cleared to practice but not for contact as he recovers from a concussion, was in the third and final group that was scheduled to practice around noon.
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It was a big dream. [Messi] is probably the best athlete out there, so it's a big honor, for [Kuznetzov] as well. It's maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the best player in soccer right now. I'm a big Barcelona fan and Messi fan, so it's huge. You can take [Michael] Jordan, [Mark] Messier, [Wayne] Gretzky, those kinds of [people]. It's an honor to meet. It's nice to be in that position.

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