Peter Taglianetti's sons play key roles with Penguins
It's been more than 20 years since Peter Taglianetti won a pair of Stanley Cups as a defenseman with the Penguins in the early 1990s, but the family name is as intertwined as it's ever been with the local hockey club.
Maybe, if you want to get technical about it, twice as much.
Peter Taglianetti's twin boys, Jon and Andrew, play key roles for the Penguins these days — Andrew in the hockey development department and Jon as an equipment manager.
“The people I get to meet just because of the last name has been great,” said Jon Taglianetti, who's the younger of the two by 20 minutes. “My dad has been the front-runner for us to even be here. I'm thankful and proud of that.”
Though they grew up playing football more, the boys have been around hockey dressing rooms their entire lives. They started working with former equipment manager Steve Latin as part-time, game-night help for the 2005-06 season.
The gig — filling water bottles, working the visiting locker room and putting out sticks were a few of the tasks — was a perfect fit.
“We were fans, but we understood,” Jon Taglianetti said. “It was fun. We were making some money. Plus, when you're 13 years old and getting a paycheck, that's not bad.”
Jon Taglianetti remembers being in awe at the time of players such as John LeClair, Mark Recchi and Mario Lemieux. Also a rookie you might have heard of named Sidney Crosby.
Andrew's work with the Penguins tapered off a bit while he played football at Pitt, but he eventually interned with the Penguins as a business major in college, in 2011. He's currently working toward his MBA and said he loves the chance to learn the business aspect of a professional sports franchise.
“I think it's a great place for me to start,” Andrew Taglianetti said. “We'll see where it takes me.”
Peter Taglianetti still makes it to the occasional game, although that's been a little tough because of recent surgeries on his knee and rotator cuff. Still, he's plenty proud of what his sons have accomplished.
“They've been around professional hockey since they were 3 years old,” Peter Taglianetti said. “So they're definitely comfortable. It's great, as a dad, to see them doing so well.”
Jon Taglianetti said he keeps a picture of his dad wearing a Penguins sweater in one of the equipment rooms.
Jon and Andrew Taglianetti live together and see each other every day at the rink, but it isn't weird or overkill, Andrew said.
“We shared the womb together,” Andrew said, laughing. “I think if you ask him, he'll get sick of me more than I get sick of him, just because I like to bug him and stuff.
“We're 24, and we've been living with each other for our entire lives. I think soon he's getting to the point where he's going to move out. I'm going to try and get a house next to him or something. Whatever I can do.”
The future is likely bright for the Taglianetti boys. Jon shadowed former general manager Ray Shero during the lead-up to the 2012 NHL Draft at Consol Energy Center and wouldn't mind transitioning to the front office.
Andrew Taglianetti wants to pursue more of a business career, something in management, and doesn't know whether he will remain in sports.
Still, where they got their start was more than a coincidence. It was an extension of their father and his legacy here.
“To be in the same organization as my dad and with Jon, I think it's really cool,” Andrew Taglianetti said. “Jon and I don't work together specifically, but we're always here. If we ever need something from one another, it always works out.
“Our last name has been around for a while, so it's nice to have that.”