“Next time a fan tells you he’s a “diehard” or that she “lives and dies” with her team, feel free to tell the story of Pat Celesnik and the Penguins.
Last April the 59-year-old Celesnik was at home in Derry, Pa., 40 miles east of Pittsburgh, packing for a trip to see her newborn granddaughter, when her heart began thumping erratically. She was rushed to a hospital, where doctors diagnosed atrial fibrillation and performed a heart catheterization. Two days later she collapsed on her kitchen floor. Back at the emergency room, her internal organs began shutting down like lights in an office building at the end of the day. The artery used for the catheterization had opened. Blood trickled out of her ears, seeped from her eyes and pooled in her stomach. Doctors induced a coma. Eventually, Pat went into cardiac arrest. For the better part of a minute she was, medically speaking, dead. Once revived, she faced a grim prognosis. Four times over the next week a different priest delivered last rites.
Still, Pat hung on, her bed ringed by her husband of 35 years, Ray, and their three children. If Pat survived, doctors said, she might never breathe again without a ventilator, much less walk. Finally, two weeks after collapsing, doctors brought her out of her coma. In her weakened condition, Pat could only mouth words. Her first were: Is there a hockey game on tonight?“
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Thanks to Fleuryous for bringing this to our attention.
With the Blues obligated to pay him US$2.67 million because of their decision to walk away from the final year of his four-year, $16-million deal, [Jay] McKee simply was looking for an opportunity to join an organization with a legitimate shot to win hockey's top prize.
"It's no secret I'm still getting paid by St. Louis. My main objective was to find a winning team," McKee, 31, said.
"But unless that team is interested in what you bring, it can't happen. But Pittsburgh called and they were trying real hard to get me there. They lost a couple of defensive guys with similar attributes (Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi), so it worked out kind of perfect. I just hope to fill their needs."
McKee, who signed a one-year, $800,000 contract with the Penguins, also hopes to win the first Stanley Cup of his career.
Twice bitten, thrice shy? Apparently not for the Oilers, who, despite being continually rebuffed by disgruntled Ottawa Senators winger Dany Heatley, haven't given up on the idea of bringing him to Edmonton.
According to the Edmonton Journal, an Oilers representative has delivered a highlight package of tapes to Heatley at his summer home in Kelowna, B.C., hoping the gesture somehow convinces him to change his mind and accept a trade to the Alberta capital.
That's what the Stanley Cup does.
And not just in McKee's case.
We've seen Bill Guerin and Craig Adams and Ruslan Fedotenko take pay cuts to remain with the Penguins.
That's what winning the Stanley Cup does for a team.
"The biggest thing with Craig is he knows how to win, knows what has to be done. Then, he goes out and executes. That's why he was on the ice in the last, big seconds of the game."
— Bill Guerin on Craig Adams