Before Sidney Crosby
stepped onto the ice for Wednesday’s practice, he looked up – and immediately began shaking his head and laughing.
Many of his teammates had the same reaction as they noticed what was dangling from the rafters of CONSOL Energy Center: rookie Bryan Rust’s street clothes. The 22-year-old forward’s coat, shirt, jeans and shoes were all hanging from a hook that had been lowered from the ceiling, with his nickname taped across the back of his jacket.
Unlike his teammates, Rust didn’t notice right away. After he got on the ice, Rust be-bopped around for a few minutes, just skating in circles without a care in the world before he finally realized he had been the victim of a prank.
“I looked up and knew it was mine because I’m pretty sure I’m the only one with those shoes on the team,” laughed Rust, in his first professional season after four years at Notre Dame. “I was kind of just skating around laughing. It’s just one of those things where you’re a rookie, so things are going to happen. It’s all in good fun.”
Defenseman Simon Despres feels for Rust, as he was the victim of the exact same prank about three years ago during his own rookie season.
“That prank’s been done to me before, and it’s a funny prank,” Despres said. “It’s probably the same person who did it to me. I’m not going to say names, but I have suspects in my mind.”
However, Crosby isn’t so sure that the previous prankster struck again, saying that it might have been more of a “student becomes the master” situation.
“I don’t know who was responsible. It looks familiar though,” Crosby said. “‘Desi’ probably did that one. It looked awfully familiar.”
Regardless of who was the culprit this time around, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury admired the execution.
“It’s pretty good,” he said. “I think we can see lots of different kinds of clothing. It could have been a little lower, maybe, but I think it was nicely done.”
The mischievious Fleury claims he had nothing to do with it and that he was in the dressing room all morning, so he couldn’t have been behind it. He’d better make sure his story checks out, as Rust may end up sitting him down in an attempt to get to the bottom of this.
“I’m going to start interviewing guys 1-on-1,” Rust joked. “I’m probably going to get out the black light and fingerprint it to see what all went down.”