Driving 20 hours is a big commitment for anyone. An even bigger commitment is driving 20 hours just to see the Penguins play, but that was the case for Anthony MacLeod and his family, who made the trek from Quebec to Pittsburgh to see Kris Letang when the Penguins hosted the Blackhawks on January 6th.
Whether it's across the state of Pennsylvania, across the United States or even from parts of Canada, dedicated fans from all over make the trip to Pittsburgh to see the Pens in person. On occasion, a dedicated fan from overseas will make the lengthy journey.
This season, the Pens welcomed a fan from 4,162 miles away. Marco Kunz traveled to Pittsburgh all the way from Worb, Switzerland, a small village outside of the nation's capital of Bern.
During the month of November, the NHL has a league initiative to raise money and awareness towards cancer research. One Pens fan, Jackie Horner, was touched by the outreach from the team and from Kessel in particular.
Whether you're 8, 37, 66, or 95 years of age, Penguins games are the place to be. Our first 'Colorful Fans' story of the 2018.19 season features a family with four generations who support the Penguins.
"I had stepped away from my phone for five minutes and had a missed call from Pittsburgh," Owen said. "I called the number back two minutes after they called. And a man's voice answered. I was like 'hello, this is Owen Marcotte, I just missed a phone call from this number.' And he said, 'oh yes, this is Mario Lemieux from the Pittsburgh Penguins organization.' I almost dropped my phone."
When it comes to being an NHL fan in a different time zone, it can be difficult to watch your favorite team. So Australian natives Jim Grant and Rebecca McKenzie recently traveled 30 hours to Pittsburgh to watch the Penguins in person for three home games last month.
"It's like a miracle, it's a dream for almost 10 years coming true," Gudlaug Thorsteinsdottir said of watching the Penguins play for the first time.
Thorsteinsdottir and her friend Hrobjartur Arnfinnsson celebrated her 25th birthday by traveling to Pittsburgh to see their first NHL game. With this being their first time on this side of the world, they fell in love with Pittsburgh immediately.
David Rukavina's custom jersey displays the best of now and then in Penguins goaltending.
One half of the sweater is a white Matt Murray Penguins jersey, while the other half is a gray Marc-Andre Fleury sweater. Rukavina had gotten the hybrid jersey made after former franchise goalie Fleury was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft.
Jeanine Wacker on how she found out she'd be attending her first Penguins game: "Well, to tell you the truth it was a surprise from my children. They planned everything. I didn't know I was going there until we got to Atria's in Mt. Lebanon. They told me we were going to have some appetizers. Then they handed me the envelope."
Kyle Donald is our next colorful fan. Living in Scotland, Kyle doesn't have the easiest access to Penguins hockey, but he records broadcasts of games and has ventured to see the Penguins play live in both Pittsburgh and Ottawa. Additionally, he has converted some of his friends to hockey fans. Kyle Donald's unique path to hockey fandom makes him worthy of the title of "colorful fan".
Our first colorful fan is Malkin Crosby Long. Named after Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, this adorable two-year-old attended his first Penguins game on Oct. 26 and witnessed a 2-1 overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets. Read more about how this little guy got his name and why we have deemed him and his family colorful fans.