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March of the Former Penguins

by Tom Mast / Pittsburgh Penguins
Wednesday night’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes featured the return of several former Penguins back to the Steel City.


Gary Roberts, who retired late last season after finishing his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning, was in attendance. Roberts was honored during the first television timeout with a jumbotron highlight reel.

Roberts was then shown in is his seat, sitting in Mario Lemieux’s box. He gave a wave to the crowd as they let out a raucous applause, and a chant of “Gary, Gary, Gary,” to show their appreciation for the departed forward.

Ulf Samuelsson returned to Mellon Arena for the final scheduled time as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Coyotes.

The former defenseman has been with the Phoenix organization for the past several years.

Samuelsson also received a jumbotron salute, featuring videos showcasing his glory years with the Penguins in the early 1990s.

The camera then keyed in on Samuelsson as he stood behind the Coyotes' bench, drawing a large cheer out of the audience.

Former Penguins forward Robert Lang played his first game in Pittsburgh wearing a Coyotes uniform. Lang signed with Phoenix via free agency in late September, and gathered one assist during the game.

Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett also had a brief stint with the Penguins, playing 74 games for Pittsburgh during the 1992-93 season.

Former Penguin tough guy Paul Bissonnette was picked up by Phoenix through the waiver wire on Sept. 30, but was scratched for the game.


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