Remember when the Penguins sucked earlier this season? Everyone hopped on the "Fire Michel Therrien" bandwagon, and the positive results of the coaching switch became apparent right away. However, there was something else that happened right around the same time that might have had a more profound effect on the team's star player, Sidney Crosby.
I told you all about the Pens and Pins bowling tournament that was set up by the Penguins' Wives Club or something. Some kids from the Make-A-Wish Foundation were able to roll a few games with the Pens, and the event seemed to be one positive in an otherwise underwhelming season.
Sid couldn't make the event due to an illness, and his partner, Bryce Cunningham, wanted to give something to his absent hero. He gave FSN commentator Dan Potash a hat to give Sid, with Bryce's name stitched into the side. I had heard rumors about the hat after seeing Sid wear it repeatedly following the February event, but couldn't get confirmation on the source of the hat.
The Penguins website made a fantastic mention of Bryce today, his hat, and the the team's turnaround since Sid's been wearing the hat at all times.
Don [Cunningham, Bryce's father] said the decision was made to get Crosby a new hat. When Crosby couldn't attend the event, Don said he approached Dan Potash, a reporter for FSN Pittsburgh, and asked if he would give the hat to Crosby the next night in Toronto.
"Usually I just have a hat a year kind of thing and stick with it," Crosby told NHL.com. "I had been wearing one a lot until two months before the season ended, then he gave me this one and said the other one was a little too dirty, so I switched it up. We started to win some games and it worked out pretty good."
Nice. Now the world knows a little more info about how one kid helped turn the Penguins' nearly-dreadful season around. Also, today is Bryce's 11th birthday, so PSAMP sends out the most awesome birthday wishes to someone who has influenced one of my favorite teams in a dominating way.
And Bryce had the burn of the century at the Pens and Pins fundraiser. WithSid out, Bryce was paired with Fleury, who is absolutely terrible at the game. Said Bryce:
"I already beat him, I don’t know if he’s that good at bowling,” Bryce Cunningham, 10, said. “It’s pretty fun because you just all get together and bowl."