On Monday night Bill Guerin retired from hockey and retired as a Penguin. He played 18 years in the NHL, and spent only 1.5 seasons with the Penguins, but he made the choice to retire as a ‘guin. That speaks volumes about what players think of the organization. As a fan, I am admittedly biased, but I think the Penguins are the classiest of all professional sports franchises. At least twice a week I read something or hear something that makes me smile and be so proud to be from this city, to have grown up watching Mario Lemiuex, and to be a Penguins fan. Most other fans share the same sentiment, but the Penguins are (mostly) all we know. So coming from players who have played for a number of organizations? It’s very telling.
Bill Guerin played for 8 different teams in his 18-year career. He came to the Penguins at the trade deadline during the 2008-09 season and was a huge piece of the puzzle in the Cup run that year. After Sid hoisted the Cup, the next person he handed it to, searching him out, was Guerin. Certainly says a lot about the amount of respect that Sid had for him. And after 18 years, he chose to retire as a member of the team he spent only 1.5 seasons with.
Many fans were disappointed over the summer when the Penguins didn’t try to resign Guerin, but Shero typically knows what he’s doing. I was disappointed but moved on. Guerin has been around the Pens and the city since the beginning of the season, taking in practices and even attending the small Bruce Springsteen/Joe Grushecky show at Solders and Sailors. The tribute video to Guerin on Monday night was set to “Born to Run”. There are some rumors that he may work for the Penguins in a front office capacity, which would be awesome.
Thank you, Bill Guerin. Thank you for scoring the game-winning goal in OT against Philly. Thank you for scoring against Boston to tie it with 0.4 seconds left. It was a regular season game, but one of the most exciting I’ve watched. Thank you for helping to bring Stanley home.
The ceremony gave me goose bumps. I need a Guerin jersey.