Before the Pittsburgh Penguins started passing pucks, they handed out season tickets.
As a show of their appreciation for tremendous fan support, Penguins players once again hand-delivered season tickets to 35 season ticket-holders throughout the Pittsburgh area. Also this year, head coach Michel Therrien joined Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Marc-Andre Fleury, Pascal Dupuis, Sergei Gonchar, Jeff Taffe, Brooks Orpik, Maxime Talbot and Tyler Kennedy in making stops around the Pittsburgh area to distribute season tickets.
“I don’t think there are a lot of teams that do this in any sport. It’s a pretty unique thing we do. As players, we appreciate it and it’s a way to kind of give back more on a personal level. I think people appreciate that,” Crosby said. “We tried it last year for the first time. It was a pretty big hit and the guys had a lot of fun doing it and I think the people enjoyed it. I think it’s a nice thing to do.”
It marked the second year in a row that Penguins players had delivered season tickets. The ticket-holders were selected randomly from the Penguins’ season ticket base.
“We think it’s a great thing that our players and coaches reach out to our season ticket holders in this way,” said David Morehouse, the team president. “The success that we’ve had in recent years has been built on the foundation of our season ticket holders, and this is a tremendous opportunity to say thank you.”
Those season ticket-holders selected for the deliveries were notified they’d get a special delivery between a certain time period. So, when the players arrived, they were surprised.
“I am sure they had a sense of anticipation knowing someone is going to be there, whether it’s me or someone else, I am sure they were excited,” Crosby said. “It’s fun for us to do and we know the people enjoy it. We appreciate all the support we get, too, so it’s the least we can do.”
Penguins General Manager Ray Shero was happy to see the Penguins take part in the special event.
“I think it’s great, I really do. When you see how you can touch the fans and the excitement that they have, I think it’s always great for the players to understand what they mean to some of the people,” he said. “These guys have an effect on people and it’s a positive one. I think it’s always good for them to be reminded of that. When they see the positive impact they have on people, I think it’s going to be great for them. It’s another benefit of playing in Pittsburgh. There’s genuine excitement about this hockey team and the players who play for us. The players represent the community well and this is another step in that direction.”The Penguins won Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference championships in 2007-08 and reached the Stanley Cup Finals. They extended their club-record sellout streak to 67 games, and sold out every game in a season for the first time in team history.
The Penguins open training camp next week at Mellon Arena.