Penguins happy to show off city to prospects
The NHL Draft is usually a bland event that sees its host city leave nothing resembling an indelible mark.
Starting this week, the Penguins are interested in bucking that trend.
The NHL's future stars are in town for the draft, which begins Friday at Consol Energy Center, and by the time it concludes Saturday afternoon, the host franchise hopes the Class of 2012 remembers Pittsburgh fondly.
“Our goal is to give this a Pittsburgh flavor,” Penguins vice president of communications Tom McMillan said. “Our city has so much to offer, and we think these kids will leave here remembering they were drafted in Pittsburgh.”
The NHL and Penguins are working together to make this a draft week unlike any other.
Instead of having the top 10 to 15 draft prospects have their media availability session Thursday in an upscale, downtown hotel — essentially the same upscale, downtown hotel that hosts this event every year — the prospects will be dining on the “Empress” of the Gateway Clipper Fleet.
And instead of having no nervous release later Thursday, with only 24 hours until the draft begins, the top prospects will take batting practice at PNC Park before the Pirates take on the Minnesota Twins.
Speaking of PNC Park, a special event will take place near the Pirates' home a day earlier. Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, Mikhail Grigorenko and Alex Galchenyuk — four of the draft's top prospects — will spend Wednesday afternoon on the Clemente Bridge.
They will be playing in a dek hockey game with youngsters from the Pittsburgh Ice inner city program on a specially built dek hockey rink.
The game will take place at 3 p.m., and then the rink will be disassembled before the crowd for the Pirates-Twins game arrives.
Also on Wednesday, the four highly touted prospects will be guest instructors at the Penguins Youth Hockey Scrimmage Camp at Ice Castle in Castle Shannon.
On Friday, the top prospects in the draft will receive a private address about the world of professional sports from Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, who is a Penguins' season-ticket holder.
There is also speculation that a few of the draft's top prospects will be escorted to Mt. Washington to replicate a classic 1984 Sports Illustrated photo of newly drafted Mario Lemieux standing above the city.
The Pittsburgh flavor McMillan speaks of quickly becomes evident in the team's plans.
“That's why we wanted to build the temporary dek hockey rink on the Clemente Bridge, hold the media luncheon on the Gateway Clipper Fleet, do batting practice at PNC Park,” he said. “It's also great to have both the Pirates and the Steelers involved in some way.”
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-664-9161, Ext. 1975.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Rutherford will add when timing’s right
- Contractor fighting Armstrong blight one house at a time
- Game Commission enters battle between hunters, Penn Hills residents
- CT scans can find smokers’ lung cancer early
- Budget plan keeps Aspinwall tax rate steady
- Obama’s next mass pardon
- Christmas Cheer Club back to aid needy Mon Valley kids
- Jeannette passes draft budget, EIT increases
- Lost election inspires South Allegheny student’s clothing project
- Pitt plays best game of the season; routs Kansas State
- Mother remembered for selfless generosity