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Galchenyuk's excitement was palpable during trip to Pittsburgh

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Penguins

"I won't be able to sleep tonight I'm so excited." 

Those words were spoken by Alex Galchenyuk on early Saturday evening while getting a tour of the Penguins' practice facility at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. 

In fact, excited was a word that was uttered on several occasions by the newest Pittsburgh Penguin forward during his brief trip to Pittsburgh. The 25-year-old arrived in the city last weekend for a single night to find a new home in his new home. 

Video: Alex Galchenyuk Visits Pittsburgh

After looking at several housing options in the area, he was taken by team staff to the practice facility. And he was blown away by the state-of-the-art complex. 

"It's top-end. It's definitely the nicest practice facility I've ever been. You can't ask for better,"
Galchenyuk beamed. "It's late July, but I can't wait until September to come in here, put the jersey on and getting on the ice with the guys." 

Galchenyuk, who is a seven-year NHL veteran who has recorded five-straight 40-point seasons and notched 30 goals in the 2015-16 season, is no stranger to Pittsburgh. He was in the city for a week leading into the 2012 NHL Draft, where he was selected third overall by Montreal. 

"It's like déjà vu," he said. "I'm in the same hotel, same area, same sights."

Galchenyuk remembers a lot from his time as a draft prospect. He and the other top prospects did various activities around the area, including a trip to the top of Mount Washington, a ride on the Gateway Clipper and a street hockey tournament on a bridge. 

"I remember playing street hockey on the bridge," said Galchenyuk, who posted a photo from that session on his Instagram account after the Penguins acquired him from Arizona in late June. "Definitely a lot of bridges. They call it the city of bridges for a reason. I'm excited to call this home."

Galchenyuk recalled those memories every time he traveled to Pittsburgh while playing for Montreal (2012-18) or Arizona (2018-19). But coming back this time around had a new feeling. 

"It's different coming into town and being a Pittsburgh Penguin. Flying in here and knowing you're a Penguin is a special feeling," Galchenyuk said. "This is the city of champions. You just want to be a part of this winning culture. There's so much excitement. The city and fans are so passionate. I can't wait to go out there and play in front of the city."

That eagerness was palpable as he walked through the gym, training room, video room and locker room at UPMC. And it only grew stronger as he went. 

"After this day I'll be counting down the days (to the season)," he said. "It's going to be a big year. I want to get started. When's the season?"

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