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The penguins had Malkin’s wife and son witness a Milestone game

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For a while, two of the Penguins’ centers of excellence were lucky enough to hit the Millennium milestones in Pittsburgh.

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Sidney Crosby He got 1000The tenth career point on February 16, 2017; Evgeny Malkin Score 1000 for himThe tenth ppt on March 12, 2019; And the commander played with his familiarityThe tenth The match is on February 20, 2021 – all at PPG Paints Arena.

But according to the schedule, the 1000 is for two ownersThe tenth The match was scheduled for Sunday in Chicago against the Blackhawks at the United Center. It was a difficult situation to not only have that huge match on the road; But to come after Marian Hossa’s retirement party. But the penguins did everything they could to make it a special occasion for Malkin.

“It was an amazing night,” said Malkin.

The organization made sure that his wife Anna and their 6-year-old son Nikita were there to surprise Evgeny, with team operations manager Jason Seidling handling all the arrangements. He even came up with the idea of ​​having Nikita read the starting lineup, which the coaching staff absolutely loved. Especially Mike Sullivan, who was ecstatic when he heard about it.

“Jason is an amazing individual, and he does an amazing job behind the scenes helping our team operate the way it does,” Sullivan told announcer Josh Getzoff on the latest edition of the Highmark Coach’s Show. “I think it’s a great gesture by our ownership and management team to move Gino’s family to Chicago and put them in the hotel so they can share in such a special moment.

“To watch Nikita announce the starting line-up – and I know it’s on social media now, so a lot of people have seen it – but to be in the room and watch it up close was just such a special moment. It was an incredible experience to watch the authentic response from Geno himself and from Nikita too.

After addressing the team after the warm-up, Sullivan told the group that they had a special guest who would be announcing them, and stepped aside to let Nikita into the room.

The boys were pleasedAs everyone cheered and clapped, a shy smile appeared on Nikita’s face. Once they calmed down, he started reading. First, in the net, the goalkeeper Casey DesmithNikita began.

From there, pronounce all of the names perfectly, and in particular Jason Zucker. A lot of times, people think it rhymes with “Smucker,” but it’s actually said “ZOOK-uhr.”

“He absolutely killed her,” Zucker said with a laugh. “The only person who did it right the first time.” “I was moved. It was amazing.”

The group was too So He was impressed by the balance Nikita showed and everyone’s eyes on him as he scaled the list.

“I can only imagine being a 6-year-old walking into a pro hockey locker room. Being able to do that, I thought he did a great job,” said Sullivan.

After Nikita had finished by saying, “Seventy-one, Evgeny Malkin“,” Father and son shared an incredibly emotional moment. Nikita went to his father and held on tightly for a few moments. After Sullivan says, “Let’s go win a hockey game!” Nikita walked over to his mother with his lip trembling as Yevgeny sat down and wiped the tears from his eyes.

Video: Malkin’s son reads the starting line-up.

“It’s really fun to see that for J Nikita, he’s such a sweet kid,” Zucker said. “identical To G. I thought it was a great moment for him to enjoy that. As parents, all you want to do is enjoy these years with your kids, to be able to cherish these years in the NHL. So he can get that over 1000The tenth The game was great.”

Chris Letang He knew Malkin from the start. And while Geno is the guy who usually wears his emotions on his sleeve, Tanger had never seen this kind of reaction from his longtime teammate and friend, which was really touching.

“You could see the sheer emotion in the room from not just Geno and Nikita, but the whole team,” Sullivan said. “That’s what I love about this group, they just care about each other. What a special moment. I think this is something Gno and Nikita will cherish for the rest of their lives.”

The team returned to practice this morning after a day off on Monday, and that night was still very much on people’s minds, with Sullivan talking to Malkin about how amazing that moment was.

“He told me Nikita kept the paper that had the starting lineup, all their names on it, and they’re going to frame it and put it up on his wall in his bedroom, which I think is cool,” Sullivan said. .

Video coach Madison Nickel, hockey operations analyst/pro staff Andy Saussure, goaltender coach Andy Chiodo, and freshman assistant coach Ty Haines usually have a rotation where one picks a player to read the starting lineup. This player will do so until the team loses the match. Then another member of the team will select a new player, and they will continue to take turns from there.

And since the team had a massive 5-3 win that night, Richard Raquel It looks like the job should be moving Nikita forward in Wednesday’s game against Calgary, which the Penguins will do Honoring the teacher With a party, a special video, and congratulatory messages from his current and former colleagues.

“Since we won, Nikita will have to come and do it again,” said Raquel. “I would have been so nervous. I get nervous too doing that. He did a great job.”

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