The locker room was unusually quiet after practice. The large media group that normally follows the team off the ice was largely absent, with the Steelers playing a 1 p.m. game in Pittsburgh.
This gave captain Sidney Crosby a break from the throngs of reporters that normally would gather around him at his locker. He took this free time to have a little fun with a special locker-room guest. Penguins’ radio analyst Phil Bourque brought his 3-year-old son, Dylan, to practice with him, and the youngster had a field day with the guys in the room.
Dylan took an instant liking to one of Crosby’s sticks, grabbing a hold of it while Crosby relaxed, still wearing his equipment. The two played tug-of-war with stick.
Pascal Dupuis and Matt Cooke decide to jump in on the fun, and they convinced Dylan to give Crosby a little slash on his shin guards.
“Tell (Crosby) to cut that stick down for you,” Dupuis joked.
Crosby hopped up from his seat and disappeared into the locker room runway area. He returned shortly with another one of his sticks.
“Here I’ll trade you,” Crosby said. “This one can be yours to keep.”
Crosby has been trying out new sticks this season, and the one Dylan originally picked up must have been one that he liked. Dupuis knew this and took the opportunity to prod his captain again.
“Tell him you want that one, the other one,” Dupuis joked, trying to get Dylan not to accept the new stick.
But Dylan was thrilled with the stick, and it wasn’t long before he wandered over to the tape rack with his new prize.
“What’s this dad?” Dylan asked his father.
“That’s hockey tape,” Bourque replied.
Dylan wrapped a little tape on his stick and practiced some poke checks and stick work with Crosby.
Dupuis invited Dylan to give his shin guard a playful slash. Every one in the locker room got a good laugh out of the whole situation. For the players it was a welcome break from the media circus.
And Dylan had a great time. Here’s what Phil Bourque had to say to the team after the visit:
“Thanks for allowing him to hang out today. He hasn’t stopped telling people how much fun he had.”
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