From reader Pat M.:
I don't know if anyone else has seen this, but the Elmo balloon has found its way into CEC. I was at the game last night and was staring up at the ceiling during intermission and there he was, smiling back down at me in all of his "tickle me unless you're Jerry Sandusky" glory. I took the attached pic with my phone, I apologize I couldn't get a better closeup, I only have 4x zoom on my phone and I was in the lower level. For reference, if you go behind the net where the Pens shoot twice and look directly up, you'll see him there.
Hopefully his return will bring some desperately needed good juju. Go Pens!
Interesting Sandusky joke. We'll allow it. Here is the pic Pat sent:
After readmore a story about Elmo not actually ever leaving.
Got this from Consol event supervisor Joe O'Leary a few weeks ago:
I got the follow up, and its not as clear cut as I had hoped. After talking with the warehouse manager and a couple of other employees, this is the story I was able to put together:
Every year, Sesame Street on Ice comes to the arena (the Mellon and now the Consol) and they apparently sell a shitload of those Elmo balloons. The thing is, kids will often mistakenly release them, and the obviously float up to the ceiling. According to the warehouse manager, the guys that were in charge of merchandise sales for the Sesame Street shows would attach other balloons to fishing lines, which they would then raise to the ceiling to retrieve the "lost" balloons so that they could be re-sold. This certainly explains how the Elmo balloon would have gotten there in the first place. But here's where it gets murky. The warehouse manager said that "there were a bunch of them up there, you just couldn't see most of them." This means that there were potentially several other Elmo balloons somewhere up in the rafters. He then told me that the one hanging in the warehouse WAS taken from the Mellon Arena, but there is really no way to verify that its THE Elmo balloon, considering the information I was given. Unfortunately, it seems like it would be difficult to ever find out the true story behind that one particular balloon. This also explains the balloon sighting at the Consol, as it was probably just left over from the show.
So in short, the Elmo balloon hanging in the retail warehouse COULD be THE Elmo balloon, as it did come from the Mellon Arena, but I have no way to verify that claim, and I'm definitely not 100% confident. Either way, I attached a picture of the balloon's location as of the game tonight.
Sorry if this just adds to the mystery, but it at least gives us a little bit of context.
We're not sure if Elmo ever meant good luck to the Pens, but if we have to put our hopes on a $10 child's balloon that got away from and made a little kid cry. So be it.