The Pens will honor the 2009 Stanley Cup championship team during their Sunday contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning at PPG Paints Arena. Several players arrived in Pittsburgh early and took in Saturday's practice.
A few of the current and former players shared their memories of that magical title run.
On his memories of the run:
I hate to give him any play because he doesn't need it, but (Max) Talbot's fight with Philly. He will be quick to reenact it. There are a lot of other moments. Flower's save early in Game 7 against Ovechkin in Washington and Geno's effort the whole season and series against Carolina. There are a lot of moments that stand out. The biggest one was probably Game 7 in Detroit. Two point however many seconds left of the game and Flower made the save. I think I was over the bench before the horn sounded. Great memories.
On his memories of the Cup win:
Playing Detroit for the second year in a row in the Final. A lot of the same guys, similar group to '08 that lost. Flower making that big save to save the game. A lot of things stick out, but that game probably the most.
On meeting up with the old team:
I'm really excited to see them. It's crazy how fast time goes by. At the same time it's something we'll always have as a group. Any time we can get together and talk about those great memories, it's special to have that. I'm excited to see all of the guys coming in.
On the '09 team getting back together:
We had a great group of guys, great friends. We're missing a few players, some guys are still playing, but there will be a lot of them (at the game) so it will be fun to be with them.
On his memories of the final seconds of Game 7:
A little bit of scramble in the faceoff. There was a shot on the ice I barely saw. There was a rebound to my right. I tried to get as much of my body over there as I could. I knew there was not much time left, so I was diving for it.
On keeping in touch with the '09 team:
Guys are getting married and for whatever reason the hockey world reunites you with your old teammates, especially with a Cup team because you get close. You go through that together and you get close with each other. Wives and families get close. It makes it nice to come back around and see these guys. It seems like a long time ago, but the memories are still pretty clear.
On his advice to current players on their future retirements:
Don't ever retire. Play until you are dead. It is nice being around my family but they are getting sick and tired of me. Keep playing. You can't beat the experience. Being around the boys day in and day out and being a part of something bigger than yourself is what I miss the most. I miss being around the guys.
On fan reception at Sunday's game:
Probably lots of boos (jokingly). I don't know. Pittsburgh fans are great. We would lose a game and they would always be outside in the cold and outside the old igloo telling us, 'Good job. You'll get it next time.' So I assume they will be welcoming. They are always respectful and overly kind, even when they didn't need to be and we lost. They still supported us. I have great memories of these fans so it will be nice to be back in front of them.
On the 3rd line trio of Cooke-Staal-Kennedy:
The line is part of my legacy. It's nice to see Cookie here. We used to have a lot of fun on the bench. It would be hilarious when we would be up four goals and he would be trying to crush someone, so we would all have to fight. Keep no one on your bad side. We all used to go out and have fun and now we are all family guys. Things change quick and we need to enjoy life.
On his bond with the '09 team:
I think it is a really tight bond. You don't realize how tight it is until you have won it. People always tell me that you'll remember the guys you won it with. When I come back it is just like old times.
On his memories of the run:
You look at Rob Scuderi saving a few in the crease. I remember Max going out and scoring two big goals, but the round against Philly to go out and lay his body on the line against a guy that he wouldn't fare too well against, most guys wouldn't. But to have the courage to rally our team. Things of that nature that sparked guys individually. Geno's performances and his goal against Carolina. Those things always stick out in your mind.
On his personal memories:
You definitely don't look that far ahead. I enjoyed the ride from the moment we got here. It was new territory. We welcomed our first son into the world. He was born the first day of playoffs. That was one thing that stuck out to me, becoming a father the morning of the first game. My son and wife doing well in the hospital and I was still able to go play. It was special for a couple different reasons for me.
On his memories of the team:
The character of that team. We were back-to-back years down 2-0 in the Final. We climbed our way back and won in seven. I think that was my biggest memory.
On his OT goal against Washington in Game 3:
That was certainly a big goal for me. It was fun. Every time you go that far in the playoffs or your team accomplishes something you want to be a part of it in some different way. It was fun to have that big goal.
On his memories from '09:
It's the last six seconds, it's not just (lifting the) Cup. It's the last six seconds and the faceoff is in our zone. It is so slow. Six seconds is like a minute and Flower saved it two times. Hard saves, it was an amazing moment.
On seeing his former teammates:
It's exciting. Great memories. To see the old guys, old players, we're all friends around here. It's an amazing time. (Ruslan) Fedontenko called me and we went to dinner together. It's an amazing time and I'm excited.