A brand new Stanley Cup champions banner will be raised to the very old Mellon Arena rafters during the Penguins' Oct. 2 season opener against the New York Rangers.
Since the NHL released the regular-season schedule Wednesday, the planning has begun for the Penguins' opening-night ceremonies. Team vice president of communications Tom McMillan said other than the date, no other details have been finalized.
It could be a night filled with mixed emotions as the Penguins and their fans celebrate their third Stanley Cup victory and cherish the final season-opener at Mellon Arena.
The conference and division championship banners also will be on display along with a scoring title banner, which will include center Evgeni Malkin's accomplishment from this past season.
They'll hang from the 48-year-old building until at least April 8, when the Penguins will play their last regular-season game — against the New York Islanders — at Mellon Arena.
I naturally assume Ray Shero is an avid reader of my blog as one day after I postulated on the impact of losing two stay-at-home blueliners in Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi, the Pens GM inked Jay McKee to a bargain deal of $800,000 for one year.
McKee, who was bought out of the final year of his contract with the Blues, remains one of the league’s premier shot-blockers – he was seventh in the league with 185 in 2008-09 – and is arguably an upgrade over the two departed defensemen…for far, far less.