The Penguins held their annual Summer Sticks Golf Classic at the Allegheny Country Club in Sewickley on Wednesday. The event signifies the transition from the end of the offseason into the beginning of training camp.
The sun was shining as each player and coach captained a foursome in a scramble-style tournament benefitting the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation.
For forward Jordan Staal
, who was ruled out for the start of the season around this time last year with a foot injury, the event was particularly relevant.
"This day is always kind of a reminder of things starting up again," Staal said. "This day is always fun and it's nice to hang out with some good people in Pittsburgh."
For the newest members of the Penguins organization, the tournament is a good time to become acclimated as it marks the first organized gathering of all the players and staff.
Forward Steve Sullivan
has been getting to know his teammates through workouts, but this is his first official event as a Penguin.
"Getting to meet the guys has been really good, so I'm glad I came in early," Sullivan said. "This one here we're going to have a little bit of fun with today and enjoy the day knowing that camp starts in a couple of days."
Forward Steve MacIntyre
was looking forward to playing golf with his new teammates and meeting new people.
“It's a tremendous opportunity to get out there, meet people in the community and spend time with some teammates,” he said. “You get to know them and show off our golf game – or lack of.”
Head coach Dan Bylsma stayed in Pittsburgh for a large chunk of time this summer and was able to practice on the course where Summer Sticks took place.
"On a scramble my goal is to get my name announced somewhere today," Bylsma said. "Whether my team wins or gets close to the pin, you just have to get some acknowledgement for your golf game."
Training camp starts on Friday, and for the players and coaching staff, today is one of the last days of golf until next summer – and they’re more than ready to trade in their clubs for some skates.
"One more (Thursday) before I put the clubs away for the rest of the year," Bylsma said.