The Penguins embarked on their third annual “Dads’ Trip” Wednesday afternoon - with 23 fathers of the players, coaches and staff members accompanying the team to road games at Nashville (Thursday) and Colorado (Saturday).
General Manager Ray Shero instituted the Dads’ Trip during his first season with the Penguins in 2006-07. Shero participated in the Dads' trip with several other teams he worked with before joining the Penguins organization in 2006.
“It’s a unique opportunity for the players to say thanks to their fathers, who have meant so much to their lives and careers,” Shero said. “And it’s a great opportunity for the dads to experience an NHL road trip with their sons.”
The team will provide a special suite for all of the fathers to view both games. Prior to the Nashville game, the fathers will attend the Penguins' morning skate and have a special picture taken with the team.
Of the 23 dads traveling, seven are three-year “veterans” - Troy Crosby, Dan Whitney, Henry Staal, Andre Fleury, Serge Talbot, Rick Orpik and Bob Scuderi.
Each year, various activities are planned depending upon the chosen cities. Last year, the trip brought them to Dallas where they toured the JFK Memorial and site. This year, the trip will probably have more of a country flavor to it as the dads will visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Ryman Auditorium.
The fathers will also get some quality one-on-one time with their sons in Denver after the team plays the Avalanche on Saturday. They will have an entire afternoon to explore the Mile High City.
Each dad rooms with his son on the trip, and the Penguins organization will host a dinner Wednesday night in Nashville.