Penguins, their dads embark on annual Fathers' Trip
The Penguins' pre-practice meeting to go over video was a little more crowded than usual Thursday.
Several of the players' fathers were invited guests.
“They probably get a kick out of that,” coach Mike Sullivan said with a chuckle. “And I am sure there was lots of coaching behind the scenes going on.”
Later in day, players' fathers joined players and coaches on their chartered flight to Dallas, where the Penguins will play the Stars on Friday night. Several fathers will accompany the team throughout the weekend, including the game in St. Louis on Sunday afternoon. Others — such as the Crafton-native father of Zach Aston-Reese — will meet up with the team in one of the two road cities.
It's what has become a tradition in recent seasons: the Penguins' annual fathers' trip.
“Certainly, it's a nice gesture for our organization to do this,” Sullivan said. “I think it's our way of saying thank you to the dads and the families who have been so influential in helping us become the people that we are. And I think it's a great opportunity to spend some time with their sons and get a chance to see what they go through every day. But as I said to our players: We are going on this trip for a reason, and we have to make sure we maintain the necessary focus to be our best.”
Sidney Crosby's dad, Troy, has been on many of these trips. He was in the locker room chatting with Sidney and others after practice Thursday at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township.
“You don't get to really see them a lot during the season, especially, and just to be able to ride the bus, go to hotels, go to dinners, interact with all the other guys and their dads, this is something that is always pretty special,” Sidney Crosby said. “We are excited about it, and we want to give them a couple good games here.”