So you may have heard the news about that Sidney Crosby guy. It's going to be a special moment when number 87 steps onto the ice.
Of course, the Pittsburgh Penguins are no strangers to special moments and huge returns. Here are some other great returns in Pittsburgh Penguins history. Yes, we could have just called this "Awesome Stuff Mario Lemieux Did and Some Other Stuff Too" but that's a much less catchy title.
We might as well start with this one. After retiring in 1997, Mario Lemieux came back to the game of hockey on December 27, 2000. The Penguins won 5-0 and Lemieux picked up a goal and two assists.
The only return that could rival Lemieux's return from retirement is Lemieux's return from cancer. On the day of his final radiation treatment, Mario returned in Philadelphia to play against the Flyers. The Penguins lost the game 5-4, but Mario recorded a goal and an assist. He went on to score 160 points that season and win the Art Ross Trophy.
As much as it's fun to insult Jaromir Jagr now, this is a great moment. After missing four games with a groin injury, Jagr returned in the 1999 playoffs to single-handedly help the Penguins defeat the New Jersey Devils in round one. In his first game back, with the Penguins facing elimination in game six, Jagr scored the tying goal with 2:12 left and added the overtime winner. The Penguins went on to defeat the Devils in seven games.
When Sergei Gonchar was taken out with a knee-on-knee hit in game four of the Penguins series against the Washington Capitals, some feared his season was over. He missed two games, but returned in game seven and helped the Penguins eliminate the Capitals. Gonchar picked up an assist on the first goal of the game.
"Obviously I wasn't 100 per cent, but it was Game 7 so you had to play," Gonchar said.
We're sure we're missing some big, obvious ones that we'll likely get blasted for.
No matter what happens tomorrow night, whether Crosby is a dominant offensive force or if he's held pointless and ends up a minus five on the night, it will be a great moment to watch. We've all waited for this for almost a year. It'll be big.