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Penguins help out at D.C. hockey clinic

Thursday, 09.10.2009 / 6:49 PM / News

By Sam Kasan - PittsburghPenguins.com

WASHINGTON, DC – When a hockey amateur player fell to the ice trying to stop, Penguins center Jordan Staal came to his aide. Staal helped the young player up and gave him some encouraging words.

"You’re doing OK buddy," Staal said. "Keep it going."

Staal was one of five Penguins players that visited the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, the oldest minority youth hockey program in the country, to partake in the Hockey is for Everyone clinic for young hockey enthusiasts.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, veteran Bill Guerin, Staal, defenseman Brooks Orpik and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury took part in the clinic, which is a central component of the National Hockey League’s partnership with United We Serve, the initiative established by President Obama to challenge all Americans to engage in sustained, meaningful community service.

"It’s a great opportunity to help these kids and help the sport grow," Crosby said. "This whole day is awesome. Kids in general, no matter where they’re from or where they’re playing, they’re out there because they love it. They’re easy to teach and they want to learn. A program like this is great for kids to learn."

Crosby and company were on the ice with the youths for about an hour and went through various drills, giving the children tips on skating, shooting and passing, as well as fielding the occasional question from the eager kids.

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Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp