It’s no secret that hockey players often hit the golf course in the summer. So it was only appropriate that on the final day of the offseason, the Penguins held their annual Summer Sticks golf tournament at Allegheny Country Club in Sewickley on Thursday.
There was a light rain all morning, but it stopped just in time for the tournament as each Penguins player golfed in a foursome with the team’s corporate sponsors. For some players it was a chance to get back on to the course to pursue a hobby.
“I haven’t golfed as much as I wanted to in previous years,” Chris Kunitz
said. “But it’s definitely fun to get out there with some of the sponsors. It’s a chance to get out there and razz each other.”
Alex Goligoski said he goes golfing as much as he can over the summer, but he wasn’t too concerned with his score.
“I’m out here for fun rather than to play very well,” Goligoski said. “It’s nice to go out and meet the sponsors and have a good day of golf before training camp starts.”
But not all of the players consider themselves golfers.
I’m not a golfer at all, I’m in flip flops all day long. But it’s fun to be with all the sponsors. - Kris Letang
“I’m not a good golfer at all,” Marc-Andre Fleury
said. “But it’s always fun though, with all of us here.” Kris Letang
looked the part, dressed in a polo shirt and dress shorts, but his shoes gave away how he views his golf skills.
“I’m not a golfer at all, I’m in flip flops all day long,” Letang said. “But it’s fun to be with all the sponsors.”
For some of the newest additions to the team, Thursday’s golf outing was a way to get acclimated to the Penguins’ organization. Paul Martin
said he didn’t golf a whole lot this summer, but he was looking forward to his first official event as a Penguin.
“It’ll be fun, I’m glad [the weather] cleared up,” Martin said. “I don’t golf a lot, maybe once in a while, but hopefully enough to hold my own.”
Brett Sterling – one of the Penguins’ offseason acquisitions who hopes to battle for a roster spot in this year’s camp – said that, despite his limited golf skills, an event like this is nice to get introduced to the organization.
“I’m trying to become a better golfer, but it’s not working so well,” Sterling said. “But it’s a good time to get to know the people around the Penguins organization and get to know the players a little bit better and just get comfortable with it.”Arron Asham
, who was signed as a free agent after playing the past two years in Philadelphia, used the event as a way to get to know some of his new teammates better.
“I’m not a great golfer,” Asham joked. “But it’s always nice to get out here and hang out with the guys a bit before we get to the grind (on Friday).”
Some people wondered how Asham and Matt Cooke
would be able to play together with some of the bad blood that brewed between the two after playing on opposite ends of the Penguins-Flyers rivalry. But that question was answered quickly.
Cooke turned to Asham and said, “Let’s get this out of the way right now,” and the two embraced in a hug and said that they were ready to play on the same team.
And Asham has already embraced one of the Penguins’ slogans, but with a twist.
“It’s a great day for golf,” Asham said. Author: Tony Jovenitti