I Just got back from the Igloo. That was quite an experience tonight. The celebration for the closing of the Mellon Arena was quite cool. There was a lot of nostalgia to be had this evening. From the very beginning when they brought out all of the past great Penguin players to the TV commercials from eras past that they played on the jumbotron, there was a lot of reminiscing to be had. During all of the breaks, the Penguins played highlights from seasons and even eras past. There were video tributes to a number of players ranging from Mario Lemieux to Martin Straka featuring countless big goals and great plays. They did interviews with some of the legends during breaks. It was all very entertaining.
The collection of players that the Penguins organization trotted out onto the ice before the game was impressive. To see guys like Ron shock and Syl Apps all the way up to the likes of Francois Leroux and of course the King himself, Mario Lemieux. The player that drew the biggest cheer from the crowd had to be Gary Roberts. This guy became as well loved here in Pittsburgh as just about anyone, in a short stint with the Penguins. Craig Patrick got a very nice ovation as well. I was glad to see that the crowd still appreciates what he did for the organization. Having the opportunity to see all of those great players from past years on the ice with the current team was a fantastic way to say goodbye to the old barn.
By the way, Elvis was in the building tonight. All we needed to make the whole thing complete were the shark fin flyers and Jaws music that used to be played for the power play. I guess it made more sense when the power play was scary for the opposition.
I had a great time tonight. Tonight was the first time I really thought about the fact that the Igloo will be no more. Though I am certainly excited about the new facility, there are a lot of things I will miss about the Igloo. I have been coming here for more than thirty years, since I was a little kid. I have many memories in the old arena.
So, here is to reminiscing about the old facility and looking forward to the new one.