With the Penguins canceling practice on Thanksgiving Day and the team flight to Columbus postponed to 8 p.m. that night, the players and coaches actually got to celebrate the holiday for the first time in a while instead of having to eat at the hotel.
They all chose to spend it in different ways. Some of the players, especially the non-American ones, caught up on their sleep and just relaxed. Others spent it with their families who came to town, like Jack Johnson, who had his in-laws over. And others spent it with their work families.
Like Mike Sullivan, who hosted the coaching staff at his home. And Jared McCann, who invited nine of his teammates over for a feast.
"I had some of the guys over for some turkey and ham," McCann said with a smile. "It was my first time celebrating American Thanksgiving, so I just wanted to have some of the teammates over and it was good."
McCann's biggest takeaway from hosting his first holiday dinner?
"My house is too small," he joked. "That's one thing I noticed pretty quickly. But the food was great, so it was awesome."
In addition to the turkey and ham, the spread featured mashed potatoes, creamed corn, brussels sprouts with bacon, Caesar salad and a taco salad that his girlfriend Valerie made.
They ended up catering most of the food, because as McCann admitted with a laugh, "I don't trust myself enough yet to put that much pressure on Val and I."
They did get some contributions from the guys who came over. Rookies Sam Lafferty and John Marino, who were two of the attendees, brought an apple pie and some wine. They both agreed that their first Thanksgiving in the NHL was a success.
"It was good to get together with everyone and spend that holiday together," Marino said. "A lot of us can't be with our families, but we found a way to make it work and spend time together. I think it brings everyone a little bit closer."
Now, after a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving, the Penguins are back to work today in Columbus, where they will face the Blue Jackets tonight. They had full participation at morning skate after having Thursday off. Here's how the lines and D-pairs looked…
Tristan Jarry was the first goalie off and Sullivan confirmed that he will start in goal.