Friday, September 19, 2008

Town Hall Meeting Highlights

The Mellon Arena was PACKED last night for the Penguins "Town Hall Meeting" which comes as no surprise!

Ken Sawyer was up first to discuss the new arena and key points of the building as the "same old" slides are shown -- there are many features that will be unique to this arena such as the glass atrium (but nothing new was really discussed).

Sawyer ends his speech by saying he is proud to say "the Pittsburgh Penguins will be here forever."

Next up, David Morehouse began by pointing out that the fans usually gather to cheer on the Pens, but that this evening they come to cheer the fans on and thank us for our support. He goes on to give the new numbers for the waiting list saying that this is the first time in the organization's history to have a waiting list which began at 50 people then grew to 100, 200 and is now at a total of 2000+ accounts (totalling 5,000 seats).

His speech ends with his mentioning that last year, because of the support of the fans and the talent of the players, Pittsburgh also became a hockey town and that several players signed long-term contracts because of their love for Pittsburgh and the fans.

Afterwards, a video is shown set to the music of U2's "Beautiful Day" illustrating the Penguins commitment to community service and their fans off the ice.

Last to speak was Penguins GM Ray Shero who reminded everyone of what a magical year last season was with 47 wins and an Atlantic Division championship which can be summed up by hard work and passion of the team. In the offseasons they have been successful at keeping 5 core young players to 5 - 7 year contracts (Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Whitney, Orpik). He also thanked the fans for "buying into what we're selling." He ended by making the often-mentioned comparison between acquiring Petr Sykora and Miroslav Satan; how their agents told the Penguins organization if there was any way they could become a Pittsburgh Penguins, it's their first choice and where they wanted to play and Shero hopes they have the same success with Satan as they've had with Sykora.

Another video is shown, this time it features game highlights from last season.

Afterwards, Penguins players come out to vintage "Boys of Winter" theme and "Let's Go Pens" chant at the urging of Steigerwald.

[ENTER Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, Whitney, Orkpik & Talbot]

At this point, the players answer questions from season ticket holders (which I believe were collected in advance of the event).

Here are the highlight questions / answers -- and by the way, Malkin is speaking more fluent than he ever has (with NO INTERPRETER) which is one more thing to be excited about this upcoming season!!

What was your favorite moment of the playoff run?
ORPIK – beating Philly (especially the games IN Philly)
MALKIN [who first says, "hi!"] – Petr Sykora’s goal in OT (in English!!)
WHITNEY – Philly, OT game #2 (same as previous 2)
FLEURY – playoffs were an awesome time; favorite is when I fell down on the ice
TALBOT – when Fleury fell on the ice; also, after every round shaking the opponents hands and looking them in the eye knowing you're moving on to the next round
CROSBY –Max’s goal to tie in game 5 (after hearing the redwings fans chanting "we want the cup!")

Malkin, what made you want to stay (sign a long-term contract)?
The guys-they’re my friends, they help me; its a good organization, and the fans

[even though he's still HOT] Talbot, why the short haircut?
I needed change; feels great – less trouble! And thanks Valerie wherever you are – give me your number after

At the end of the event, Talbot says, "Love you guys; thanks for coming out!"

You GOTTA LOVE Mad Max!!

1 comment:

Life_As_A_Redhead said...

Thanks for makeing the "sacrifice" and watching this for us.

I was getting ready to watch, and then I had some stuff come up and I had to leave. Is there a replay of it somewhere?