NHL merchandise event takes over Consol
Consol Energy Center has hosted significant events in its first three years.
The latest is an understated one, but it speaks volumes to how far the Penguins' profile has risen.
The annual “NHL Exchange” — essentially an open house for teams and retail stores to observe the latest merchandise available — started Tuesday and concludes Wednesday.
“Pittsburgh has always been a great hockey market,” said NHL executive vice president of marketing Brian Jennings. “Now that they've got this beautiful, spaceship-of-a-building, it made perfect sense to have a big event like this here.”
This is the 13th year of the event, which has moved around among NHL arenas.
Representatives from all 30 teams attended to consider items that will be sold at their respective pro shops during the upcoming season.
A few celebrities were on hand.
Joseph R. Gannascoli, who rose to fame playing Vito in “The Sopranos.” He invented a five-gallon water cooler cover that is licensed by the NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB, Disney, Marvel Comics, HBO and others.
“I'm a big sports fan,” he said. “I looked at the water cooler in my house and said, “Why isn't my team on it?”
Former Playboy cover girl Jaime Bergman Boreanaz, wife of actor David Boreanaz, was showcasing her new line of nail polish. All 30 NHL teams and their precise colors are represented.
“I think there is definitely a market for women besides a jersey or a T-shirt,” she said. “They're usually not flattering for women. This is a way to get girls more involved.”
Other intriguing items were on display, from an assortment of clothing apparel to a Stanley Cup replica turned into a popcorn maker.
“This event is a big deal,” Jennings said. “And Pittsburgh is a perfect place for such a thing.”
Note: Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse and Penguins broadcaster Phil Bourque held a Q&A during Tuesday's showcase. Morehouse spent much of his time talking about the Penguins' rise from a struggling, small-market franchise to its status as one of the most-respected franchises in sports. Bourque, meanwhile, lightened the mood by acknowledging — for the first time in 22 years — that he was responsible for the Stanley Cup finding its way to the bottom of Mario Lemieux's swimming pool after the Penguins won the championship in 1991.
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.