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Penguins president suffers heart attack

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009
 

Penguins president David Morehouse may owe his life to head athletic trainer Chris Stewart.

Morehouse, 48, remained in a San Jose area hospital unit Monday after undergoing a minor surgery to repair a blocked artery with a stent Sunday. The Penguins confirmed yesterday that Morehouse experienced a heart attack. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Upon boarding a charter flight in San Jose on Sunday morning around 8 a.m., Morehouse alerted Stewart to symptoms of heaviness in his chest and pain shooting into his left arm. Stewart ordered Morehouse off the plane, which a team spokesperson said was about 10 minutes from closing its doors for customary take-off procedures.

Had the flight taken off with Morehouse on it in his condition, an emergency landing likely would have been necessary to prevent severe damage to Morehouse's heart, Stewart said.

Players on the flight were mostly unaware of the circumstances surrounding Morehouse, a Beechview native, until Sunday night.

"It's scary stuff, big time," team captain Sidney Crosby said yesterday. "(Stewart) was getting a lot of pats on the back. He was really smart to tell Dave to stay back. That was big. It's a long flight. He might have saved his life."

· Right wing Tyler Kennedy did not practice yesterday and will not play tonight at Boston. Coach Dan Bylsma indicated that Kennedy, who will miss his sixth of seven games, continues to need rest for an undisclosed injury — believed to be of a lower-body variety. Bylsma did not rule out Kennedy returning to the ice Thursday, though perhaps for practice and not a home game against New Jersey.

· Assistant to the general manager Tom Fitzgerald attended practice at Agganis Arena and spoke with players and coaches. Fitzgerald, who lives in a Boston suburb, was an assistant coach on the Penguins' 2009 Stanley Cup team, but he rejoined the front office over the summer. He was badly injured in an offseason diving accident. His right foot was sliced on a rock after he jumped into water during an August vacation. He has undergone surgery and rehab and is now walking with support of a cane. Fitzgerald had resumed select traveling duties for the Penguins, which include scouting professional players at AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

· Forward Max Talbot, center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Sergei Gonchar each participated in non-contact drills, with Talbot and Gonchar working into select practice segments while Malkin mostly worked on one-on-one aspects. Talbot (left shoulder) is at least two weeks from playing. Malkin (right shoulder) hopes to play by next week. Gonchar (left wrist) is at least three weeks from playing.

· Winger Chris Bourque, who briefly attended Boston University, where the Penguins practiced, was assigned to sing his school's fight song after a nearly 90-minute session.

"That's the first time," he said. "I didn't even know the words."

DIGITS

29 — Beanpot Classic championship wins by Boston University, whose Agganis Arena played host to the Penguins' practice.

39 — Birthdays celebrated by right wing Bill Guerin, as of yesterday.

QUOTABLE

"He's like, 'This guy's in the hospital and could have died, so we need to move on to a new day. Come here, have fun and just move on, and learn from the past few games.'" — Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, on coach Dan Bylsma's message Monday at practice after team president David Morehouse suffered a heart attack Sunday

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