What’s next? Someone lets the kids in on a little tidbit about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy?
Apparently, someone (we’re looking at you, overzealous parents) let at least some of the Sidney Crosby Little Penguins skaters know beforehand that they would get a chance to skate with the hockey star Monday after the NHL version of the Penguins practiced in Cranberry. They knew they would get to watch practice and skate on the same ice afterward, but having Crosby join them was supposed to be a surprise.
As two little boys in the stands mused while waiting for practice to start:
“We get to skate with Sidney Crosby,” one said.
The other, his tone indicating this was not a scoop: “I knoooow.”
The first one countered with, “I dare you to go up to him and talk to him.”
Some 100 members of the learn-to-skate program (fully funded by Crosby, the NHL, USA Hockey, Dicks Sporting Goods, the Penguins Foundation and CCM) ages 4-9 got that chance in what has become an annual event.
“It’s fun,” Crosby said of skating with boys and girls all wearing his No. 87. “It seems like there’s a growing number, so that’s good. It means that a lot of kids are playing hockey.”
Some of Crosby’s Penguins teammates – Carl Hagelin, Chad Ruhwedel, Riley Sheahan, Triastan Jarry and Jake Guentzel – also went on the ice and skated with the kids, who were divided into several smaller groups around the ice surface.
Crosby, told that at least some of the kids had the surprise about skating with him ruined, just smiled.
“That’s OK,” he said. “I’m happy to get out there with them and skate.”