WATCH: ALUMNI CHARITY GOLF CLASSIC, PART I
INTRODUCING 2011-12 TRIB JR. REPORTER, EVA DORR
The incredible bond between the men who brought Pittsburgh its first Stanley Cup championship in 1991 is still evident 20 years later.
That palpable chemistry must have rubbed off on Pittsburgh assistant coach Todd Reirden and his foursome at the Penguins Alumni Charity Golf Classic presented by 84 Lumber on Tuesday, as they tied for the highest score with Warren Young’s group in the scramble-style tournament.
“I think we had a little bit of that chemistry today in our group,” Reirden smiled. “The Penguins put together an outstanding event and we had a beautiful day for it. It was great to see the support from the sponsors for the charities involved and to see so many of the guys come back that won in 1991.”
It was the largest turnout in the event’s 14-year history, with 39 foursomes signing up to tee off at the Valley Brook Country Club in McMurray. CLICK HERE TO VIEW EVENT PHOTO GALLERY!
Proceeds from the event, which also featured a cocktail party, dinner and silent and live auctions, will benefit Achieva, the Mario Lemieux Foundation and the Western PA School for the Deaf.
“We’ve never had a group that large before,” said Cindy Himes, director of community/alumni relations for the Penguins. “So it’s really a testament to all the people who bought groups and helped to support the event, and through the event, the charities.”
Those who teed off alongside former Penguins, players and coaches – and current Penguins staff members like head coach Dan Bylsma, Reirden and assistant general manager Jason Botterill – had a blast out on the course in the gorgeous mid-70s and sunny weather.RELATED: 1991 Stanley Cup Champions: A Special Bond >>
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Joe Cardosi, who played with Larry Murphy. “It’s a great event and a perfect day. I know a lot of outings get rained out, but this is ideal.”
Ken Planinsek, who golfed with Randy Gilhen, was impressed by the team chemistry between those 1991 Stanley Cup championship team members that was evident even with the players being spread out over the course.
“(Gilhen) said the best thing was that team,” Planinsek said. “He said they could have not made the playoffs and they still would have had so much fun. I think you can see that and observe that. There was kind of a lot of chirping back and forth when guys would cross routes and stuff like that.”RELATED: Penguins Celebrate 20th Anniversary of '91 Cup >>
The Penguins Alumni Charity Golf Classic concluded the roughly day-and-a-half celebration of the players, coaches and staff who brought the franchise its first-ever Stanley Cup.
The turnout was incredible to see, with some former players traveling long distances to be in Pittsburgh for the reunion, and it’s something that everyone involved has enjoyed immensely.
“It’s been fun the last couple of days, especially last night,” said Penguins co-owner, chairman and legend Mario Lemieux. “Getting with all of the guys and talking about the Cup years and what we went through together – it’s pretty special.”
“I’ve said it before, we were such a close-knit team and I knew that everybody would just pick up where we left off,” Gilhen said. “I knew it was going to be a good time and I knew it would be fun.”
WATCH: ALUMNI CHARITY GOLF CLASSIC, PART II