THANK YOU AND GOOD-BYEBefore our final sign off, every year I like to take a minute to thank all the people who’ve had a hand in helping the Pens website be the best in the NHL. As always we start with the team – players and coaches. It’s not always the easiest or most pleasant thing to deal with the media (especially after tough losses and bad games), but every player and coach in that locker room takes the time to answer our questions. Without them there is no Pens website. They’re always patient and willing to speak with the media, and their cooperation is very much appreciated. A huge thanks to our staff for their tireless hours and endless work ethic (working every weekend, working every holiday and pulling a few all-nighters). People may not realize how much time and work goes into their jobs. So thank you to the writers (Michelle Crechiolo, Joey Sykes, Haley Sawyer), PensTV video shooters/producers/graphics (Mark Cottington, Meghan McManimon, Mike Davenport, Leo McCafferty, Jon Otte, Tara Kavanaugh, Mike Maraden, David Distilli), social media (Dave Geier, Drew Hancherick, Andi Perelman), PensTV host Celina Pompeani, and most of all, the PR staff (Jen Bullano, Jason Seidling and Evan Schall). But as always, the biggest thank you belongs to all of you readers. You are the reason we are here. It’s an absolute blessing to cover the Pittsburgh Penguins. A dream come true for myself and many of our staff. But we are only here because of you. I hope you’ve enjoyed the stories, videos, blogs, photos, blurbs and other relative nonsense that we put forth every day. We are beyond grateful for your loyalty to the Pens (as well as to our website). That'll do it for the 2014-15 season. I hope everyone enjoys their summer. We'll see you next season. That's a wrap. --Sam Kasan
LOCKER CLEAN OUT PICS
The stick Fleury used on his milestone night. Read the inscription from head equipment manager Dana Heinze.
Christian Ehrhoff updates the media on his health.
Nick Spaling repping the Steelers!
PengWINS, as our awesome social media coordinator would put it.
Malkin's sticks packed up and ready to go with him to Russia.
Martin's sticks packed up and ready for the trip to Minnesota.Remember when Geno borrowed Pouliot's stick
Ian Cole repping the Pirates
Meesh is confused by Cole's outfit decisions
Beau Bennett: "Sometimes doubt creeps into your mind, especially when you get hurt as much as I have been hurt. But not once have I had doubt about my abilities."
Sam is thoroughly enjoying locker room cleanout day
Taylor Chorney meets with the media
Whatever it is Meesh is laughing about, Lovejoy is not amused
Now he is
Loving all the Pirates, Steelers and 412 apparel in the Pens locker room today
Blake Comeau said "I feel like my mindset maybe changed a little bit into wanting to contribute offensively more whereas I found I was mentally just looking to get hits and stuff like that the last couple years."
Patric Hornqvist had a tremendous first season in Pittsburgh
Meesh incredibly focused on what Maatta has to say
Olli's got jokes
Maatta: "I'll be ready for next season, for sure."
Hopefully this guy will be back as well
Through that sea of reporters is Kris Letang
There he is!
Perron reflects on his time in Pittsburgh. He's signed through next season
Cool shot of Duper
Fleury signs a jersey
Best buds--Sam Kasan & Haley Sawyer
--Michelle Crechiolo & Sam Kasan
PENS TV VIDEOSMike Johnston
Sidney Crosby Evgeni Malkin Kris Letang Pascal Dupuis Marc-Andre Fleury Brandon Sutter Patric Hornqvist Chris Kunitz David Perron Beau Bennett Rob Scuderi Derrick Pouliot Daniel Winnik Ian Cole Maxim Lapierre Brian Dumoulin Taylor Chorney Olli Maatta Christian Ehrhoff Nick Spaling Ben Lovejoy --Sam Kasan
START ME UPThe 2014-15 season is officially over. The Pens players will gather for the final time at CONSOL Energy Center for locker clean out, or "Get Away Day." The players will undergo physicals and exit meetings with the coaches, as well as packing up their equipment and personal belongings to take with them for the summer.It's also the final time this particular group of players will be together. There are a lot of players on the roster who will be unrestricted free agents this summer (Paul Martin, Christian Ehrhoff, Maxim Lapierre, Blake Comeau, Thomas Greiss, Craig Adams, Taylor Chorney, Steve Downie, Daniel Winnik, etc.) and restricted (including Ian Cole and Beau Bennett). The makeup of next season's roster will no doubt be different. So this morning is the last chance for guys to see each other and say goodbye.
---Today is also the final Pens Report of the season. So we start off our finale the way we always do, with Semisonic's "Closing Time." --Sam Kasan