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Pens on edge during April Fools' Day

by Nicole Jelinek / Pittsburgh Penguins

April 1 is a day that pranksters live for as they prepare to pull jokes on people for April Fools' Day. However, in the Penguins locker room, those tricks are things that actually happen on a regular basis.

Sidney Crosby said that the guys have to be alert at all times because pranks can occur at any moment.

"There have been some really good ones," Crosby laughed. "Not many I can repeat on camera. You're always on edge this day. The goalie down there is usually pretty active on this day. I think guys have fun with it. There are always some good ones."

That goalie happens to be Marc-Andre Fleury, who has earned a reputation as a prankster in locker room throughout his years with the Penguins. He's pulled countless tricks, but there are a few that stand out.

"I personally really like when you take someone's room or bed or nightstand or dresser and put it in the hallway, so when they open the door it looks like you are in your room," Fleury said. "It takes a lot of work and dedication to do it. You need to find a way to get into the room and that is not always easy. I like that one."

Fleury says that while he has been known to pull some good pranks, he learned his skills from former Penguins forward Ryan Malone. At one point, the master was the student.

"He was a good mentor to me," Fleury grinned. "One time, Ryan Malone put a nail through (Ryan) Whitney's shoes into the locker. So, the shoes were stuck in the wood and he couldn't get them out."

Fleury stopped and thought for a minute and had to correct himself.

"Wait, Whitney did that to Malone," Fleury said. "So then at the Mellon Arena, sometimes there were mice, so one time we took a dead mouse and stuffed it in Whitney's shoes into the toes. He found it on his way to the airport when he was driving. He was like, 'what is going on?' He took his shoe off and found a dead mouse in there. I thought that was pretty funny."

One of the best pranks came when defenseman Justin Schultz joined the Pens last year and quickly fell victim to Fleury.

"I got traded here and I went out for practice and all of my street clothes were hanging from the rafters," Schultz chuckled. "That was interesting. I have never seen that before, so it was pretty good."

So far today, the locker room has remained unpranked, but Fleury may be one to watch.

"For today?" Fleury smiled. "I can't tell reveal my thoughts and work. Not yet… not yet."

Here are a few other top pranks some of the Pens have seen:

Cameron Gaunce:

"When we were in Texas, we had a really big parking lot outside the rink. One of the days one of the older guys didn't skate while everyone else did, so while they were on the ice, he and a few others went and took everyone's keys and drove their cars to a parking lot down the road. One of us happened to follow the other guys so they all had rides back. After practice when all of the guys came out none of the cars were there. They couldn't figure it out until one of them used OnStar to figure out where his car was. They had to Uber down to their cars."

Nick Bonino:

"The best one I heard about is when a guy got traded and he took all of the keys of all the guys in the room when he left, off the key chain, and put them into a bucket. So, they had all of their house keys - homes, summer houses and cabins - in a bucket so they had to take them all out one-by-one and try them. That's a good one."

Conor Sheary:

"I think maybe in Wilkes last year. Someone parked someone's car like a mile away from the rink. I think Tom Kostopoulos was the culprit of that. He took someone's car and parked it off where they had to walk."

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