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Pens make repeat ring donation to Hall

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Hockey Hall of Fame added some bling to its domain on Wednesday afternoon.

The Penguins, in what the team would love to become a yearly tradition, donated a Stanley Cup championship ring to the Hockey Hall of Fame for the second straight year. 

"Our history with the Pittsburgh Penguins has been wonderful," said Phil Pritchard, vice president and curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame. "This is the second year in a row, third time in eight years and fifth time since the early 90s, we have a "Badger" Bob ring as well."

The Hall of Fame has collected Stanley Cup rings from years gone by, including one as far back as 1893. The Anaheim Ducks began the current yearly tradition by giving the Hall a ring from their 2007 title.

"It's always a real honor to be at the Hockey Hall of Fame," said Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford, who has two masks on display at the Hall. "It's a very special day for us and an honor to be here."

Rutherford was joined by captain Sidney Crosby and alternate captains Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang for the ceremony in Toronto.

"I remember a lot of the (rings) from last year. There is a big difference from the first Stanley Cup ring until now," Crosby said. "They seem to get bigger every year. It's what they represent. As a player, it's the great memories and guys you played with, it brings it together."

Just like last season, the ceremony was held in front of fans that cheered for the Penguins, some traveling as far as Alberta. The ring bore the name of the team's captain, Crosby, who showed it off to the fans before placing it in the display case for rest of history.

"It's nice to have these people here to see the ring and to spend some time here in a unique place, and to do this is pretty special," Crosby said. "It's one of the many things that you're fortunate enough to do when you win."

The rest of the Pens team arrived at the Hall of Fame following the ceremony to take a tour of the facility. They all took note of the 2017 Stanley Cup championship display - which featured some game jerseys, game pucks and other memorabilia.

"To have the whole team here, it's a great opportunity for everyone to get together and see the unique things here," Crosby said. "When I come here I'm right into 'fan mode.' I just love seeing everything, seeing all the history, the old jerseys, gloves, sticks, what it represents."

Following the tour of the Hall the team ate a team dinner together, a perfect opportunity to bond.

"This is nice," Rutherford said. "We're going to tour the Hall and have dinner after. It comes at a good time for us. Bringing the team together like this will be good for us."

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