I was born the day the Pens won their second Stanley Cup, heard Mike Lange's voice when I was about 7 hours old calling the win, so I seriously do consider myself a fan since "day 1." Grew up watching my two childhood heroes Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr play at the Civic Arena which then became the Mellon Arena. At one point during my childhood, I tried to grow out my hair so I would look like "Jagr Jagr" (couldn't say his first name as a munchkin). Other than Mario and JJ, my favorite players growing up were Darius Kasparaitis, Francois Leroux, and Seregi Zubov. I survived the dark ages of Penguins hockey. Fast forward to today; my favorite current Penguins are Tyler Kennedy and Matt Niskanen. First two hattricks have been from Geno this season (I have been to a ton of games and finally saw one). I love the Mighty Ducks trilogy, so if you're also a fan, tweet me and we'll discuss. Adam Banks should have been the captain.
I root for the logo on the front of the jersey, but do have some favorites not on the Pens. Here's my list of top 10 non-Penguins:
1) Jaromir Jagr 2) Marty St. Louis 3) Jeff Skinner 4) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 5) Shea Weber 6) Mason Raymond 7) Ryan Kesler 8) Claude Giroux 9) Tyler Seguin 10) Dustin Byfuglien
Born the summer after the first Cup win, my 1st general hockey memory was playing knee-hockey in the basement at age 4. My favorite hockey player in Penguins history was Ron Francis. Francis is one of the all-time greats that doesn't seem to get the recognition of the other greats. There are very few times you will hear about Francis being mentioned in the same breath as Lemieux, Gretzky, Richard, etc., but when you look at Francis' statistical accomplishments along with his great leadership qualities, I believe he should be. My other personal favorites in Pens' history include Paul Coffey, Johan Hedberg, Marty Straka, and Konstantin Koltsov (don't judge). The first hat-trick I ever witnessed was by Toby Petersen. My favorite non-Pens in the league are:
1.) Jordan Eberle 2.) Teemu Selanne 3.) Zach Parise 4.) Jonathan Toews 5.) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 6.) Pavel Datsyuk 7.) Bobby Ryan 8.) Jerome Iginla 9.) Ryan Suter 10.) Anze Kopitar
Top Hockey Movies (Rated): 1.) Miracle 2.) Slapshot 3.) The Rocket 4.) Youngblood
I also greatly enjoy the front office aspect of hockey such as the draft, the start of free agency, and the trade deadline, so feel free to contact us on any of those subjects too.
Hopefully this gives you more of an idea of who we are and what we're all about as far as our fan-hood. Feel free to tweet us or e-mail us with any questions or comments. @GotKasparaitis or GotKasparaitis@gmail.com.