Malkin Crosby Long finally got to see his namesake in person and he could hardly contain his excitement.
The 2-year-old took in his first Pittsburgh Penguins game on Thursday at PPG Paints Arena with his parents Jerome and Courtney, and 8-year-old sister Angel. Armed with his yellow towel and his loudest "Let's Go Pens" chant, Malkin saw the Penguins beat the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 in overtime.
The idea to name his son after Evgeni Malkin just popped into Jerome's head one day when Courtney was pregnant, but it didn't take much convincing for the most passionate Penguins fan in the household.
"I had to run it past my wife but she's a bigger hockey nut than I am," Jerome Long told NHL.com. "I love hockey, I love all sports, but she's definitely a hockey nut.
"I knew people had used Crosby as a first name for some of their kids, so I thought Malkin because that was the dynamic duo or two-headed monster. I thought Malkin was different."
There's since been a baby Kessel born in Pittsburgh and Jerome said he's heard there's a baby Guentzel (named after Jake). But Malkin was the name Jerome and Courtney loved and they couldn't imagine their son being named anything else. They're also expecting a baby girl in a couple of weeks, though they haven't decided on a name yet.
After Malkin was born, he stayed in the hospital to have stomach surgery and the Penguins got word of the new baby with the stellar name. They posted their well wishes to Malkin and he gained a little notoriety at the time.
He even got a shout out from the Penguins forward.
It was another couple of years before the junior Malkin could make it to a game.
But when he did, he got the royal treatment. He got to hang out with Iceburgh the mascot and got a puck and autographed picture.
"Surprisingly, it held his attention the entire time," Jerome said. "I was a little nervous, but he had a blast.