BOSTON, Massachusetts - The Penguins are currently on the 11th Dads' Trip in franchise history. The collective fathers of the players, coaches and staff joined the team for a two-game road trip that started Wednesday in Boston and ends tonight in Detroit.
The dads enjoyed a team dinner on Wednesday night at Tresca (the restaurant owned by Hall-of-Famer Ray Bourque), took a group photo on Thursday at TD Garden and spent that afternoon touring Fenway Park, the historic home of the Boston Red Sox.
We asked the dads to share some fun stories about their sons when they were kids.
Bill Aston-Reese: I had the VHS tapes of the '91 and '92 Cup runs. One was "From the Heart." (Zach and his brother) wore those tapes out. There's a shot in Game 6 against Boston where (Mark) Recchi scores the game-winning goal on a snipe. They would wind that up over and over and over again to see where the puck was. They see him take the puck off the boards. Then all of a sudden it was in the back of the net. It was like a magic shot. He had it and all of a sudden they were celebrating a victory.
Mike Bjugstad: Nick always had a runny nose problem. From age 6 to 12, every time he came to the bench, he had the double barrel going. It was hilarious because he could inhale it, exhale it. It was gross, but he was a gross little kid. Messy. Spaghetti always stained on his chin. He takes after his dad (laughs).
Alex Galchenyuk Sr.: His first game when he was 3 years old was in Detroit. He played against 5-year-olds. It was two nets in the same zone. He didn't know which net to shoot at. He scored in one net. Then he scored in the other net. One goal for the opponent. One for his team. He kept going back-and-forth. The next practice my wife stood behind the net so he knew which one to shoot at.
Paul Marino: We did a summer league. He was with one team and scored a lot of goals. In the second half he was on the other team. He scored a lot of goals on the other team. A dad came up to me and said, 'The kid on that team is way better than your son.' Little did he know.
Matt McCann: When he was 5 years old playing house league hockey, Jared was pretty good because he could skate really well. He was out scoring goals and doing what he does. But there was a little girl on that team. She had a breakaway and she's going down and she looks at Jared and she passes it to him. Jared bolts down to the other end, stops behind the net and waited for her to get in front of the net. And he passed it to her and she scored. That's the best memory I have of him playing hockey. He wanted to see her score so bad.
Daniel Pettersson: I played hockey myself. My daughter, 5 years old, would turn her back to the games and draw or color at her seat. Marcus was just 2, but he would watch everything and knew everything. He loves sports.
Steve Rust: The thing that jumps into my mind is how much Bryan wanted to be a goalie growing up. His first year of AAA hockey in Michigan was as a goalie, which is quite strange. We got him the equipment and he started playing goalie for Detroit Honeybaked. Fortunately, that helped him get the goalie thing out of his system. There's no good reason for it. Somebody's got to do it, I'm glad it's not him.
Dave Weaver (Sam Lafferty's stepfather): I used to call Sam my 40-year-old 10-year-old. Mature beyond his years. It was to the point where I said to loosen up a little bit. He was always serious about what he wants to do. Whether it was golf, school or ice hockey. I bought him a net that you hit golf balls into. And he hit golf balls for nine hours. I was like, 'What are you doing? That's miserable.' He watched his favorite golfers and would emulate their swings. He was a perfectionist. He turned out to be a scratch golfer at Division I Brown. He would watch Crosby and then try to do what he was doing at 8, 9 years old. As his hockey coach it was driving me nuts.