Not only did Sunday mark Day 2 of the Penguins’ 2010 training camp, it was also the 40th birthday for the Penguins head coach.
“Yes, today is my 40th birthday,” said Bylsma when asked about the milestone during his media conference. “I don’t feel much different, but I do feel older.”
While the media couldn’t pass up on the chance to remind Bylsma of his birthday, at least he didn’t have to worry about his players knowing he turned the big 4-0 … or did he?
“It has been mentioned a bit around the room today,” Bylsma laughed.
Which shouldn’t come off as much of a surprise considering we are talking about a hockey locker room, and nobody is better at pulling off pranks during situations like this than hockey players.
But luckily for Bylsma, when you become the coach, players think an extra second or two before they actually pull the trigger on any pranks.
“I think if he was a player I’d have some ideas,” noted team prankster Marc-Andre Fleury
said. “Since he is a coach, I think there are probably some boundaries. You have to watch out for stuff like that.”
Although, it’s funny that Fleury would say that because the big rumor earlier in the day was that Fleury was petitioning for Penguins director of communications Jen Bullano to rub a pie in Bylsma’s face as soon as he finished his morning media conference.RELATED ARTICLE: Tangradi-Comrie-Malkin Trio Flourishes During Scrimmage
“I would never be behind something like that,” Fleury said sheepishly. “Your source doesn’t sound very credible though. It was all Jen’s idea. I would blame her.”
Ultimately, Fleury decided against punking the coach, but veteran forward Craig Adams
wasn’t willing to declare Bylsma was out of the woods just yet.
“We lost a few of the guys who would do that, but I know Cookie (Matt Cooke
) would do something juvenile,” Adams said. “It probably wouldn’t be that funny, but he would laugh.”
However, just like Fleury, Cooke was quick to shoot down that idea, instead opting to throw darts in the younger player’s direction.
“I get thrown under the bus,” Cooke laughed. “I get the tracks on my back. I might be involved, but I don’t think I’ll be the one that actually does the prank. I’ll be behind the scenes. I don’t (have anything special planned), but maybe one of the young guys has a shaving cream pie ready for him.”
In the end, nobody was able to get a prank in on Bylsma, which meant the Penguins bench boss had to settle for the gift his son gave him at 6 a.m.
And even if that gift was a bag of socks or a new tie, I’m thinking it beat what Adams said he would have bought his coach.
“I am not really one to talk, but I might get him some kind of hair treatment – so he can keep what he has,” Adams said. “What he has is good, but he is 40 now, so he could start heading in the other direction.”