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by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins brought the 2005-06 season to a close Wednesday at Mellon Arena.

The players gathered for individual physicals and meetings with the coaching staff and met with the media for the final time. In addition, they packed up their sticks, equipment and other gear and headed to their respective destinations.

However, before they left, the Penguins were not hesitant to offer their thanks to all their fans:

Sidney Crosby: “I’d like to thank the fans. It’s been a tough season and I think it would have been easy for you to quit on us a lot of different times during the season through some tough stretches. You guys held in there and right until the last game it was a great experience. I want to thank you for all your support and we hope for better days ahead.”

Marc-Andre Fleury: “I would like to thank all the fans who came to the games. You guys were awesome. It was a tough season, but you guys were always there to support us. So, thanks a lot and we’ll see you next year.”

Sergei Gonchar: “I wanted to say thank you for all the support during the year. See you next year.”

Colby Armstrong: “Even though we struggled this year and, at times, other places probably would have quit on us. But, I just wanted to say thanks for sticking around and supporting us. Everything helped out. We had a lot of young faces and I know the support helped out with a lot of young faces as well as the team, especially through tough times. So, thank you for everything and we’ll see you next year.”

Michel Ouellet: “I’d like to say thank you to all the fans. They were there every game and when we stepped on the ice, they were there cheering us and it was awesome to be a part of that. Thank you very much.”

Ryan Malone: “Thanks guys for having our back. You’re some of the best fans in the league and hopefully next year we’ll make a nice playoff run. Thanks again for all your support.”

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