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Penguins’ Fleury honors Pittsburgh Steelers with Stadium Series mask

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Marc-Andre Fleury will don this Steelers-inspired mask for a Stadium Series clash with the Blackhawks.

Marc-Andre Fleury will don a Steelers-inspired mask for a Stadium Series game. (Photo courtesy Stephane Bergeron)

By Allan Muir

Marc-Andre Fleury sure knows how to play up to Pittsburgh sports fans. The Penguins netminder drove them crazy by donning a Steelers helmet for some post-game shenanigans during that team’s most recent Super Bowl run. But now he’s prepared to take his support for the club to a whole new level.

When the Penguins visit Soldier Field this Saturday for a Stadium Series clash with the Blackhawks, Fleury will debut a one-off mask designed to mimic a Steelers helmet.

The mask was painted by Fleury’s long-time collaborator, Stephane Bergeron of Griff Airbrush.

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  • Published On Feb 25, 2014
  • Ducks blank Kings at Dodger Stadium as Wayne Gretzky’s influence lingers

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    Wayne Gretzky was instrumental in bringing hockey to California, even forseeing the Stadium Series (Robert Beck/SI)

    Wayne Gretzky was instrumental in the growth of hockey in California, even forseeing the Stadium Series. (Robert Beck/SI)

    By Gabriel Baumgaertner

    When Jeremy Roenick interviewed Wayne Gretzky before the puck dropped at Dodger Stadium, he revealed that Gretzky considered this idea about 20 years ago: What could an outdoor game do for hockey’s popularity in L.A.? The Kings had history, but no one had really ignited the city’s passion for the sport until The Great One arrived in 1988. Five years later, the NHL formed the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (now just the Ducks) — an expansion team across the 5 freeway with a Disney-inspired name.

    Southern California had two NHL teams, but the wrong kind of weather and limited access to ice. Growing the sport would be no easy task in that sun-drenched environment.

    Two decades later, Gretzky’s vision came together at Los Angeles’s most iconic stadium. Dodger Stadium wasn’t merely hosting the Ducks and the Kings, it was the site of a regular season game between two of the league’s best franchises in front of 54,099 fans. By the end of the season, either the Kings or Ducks could feasibly hoist their second Stanley Cup in a decade. The Ducks now have the best record in the NHL and it will be a shock if the Kings don’t make the playoffs. As legendary broadcaster Vin Scully helped emphasize before the game, Dodger Stadium had hosted the World Series, the Pope, the Harlem Globetrotters, Real Madrid and The Beatles. Now, it was hosting hockey.

    GALLERY: NHL outdoor games through the years | NEWCOMB: The making of stadium hockey

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  • Published On Jan 26, 2014
  • Beach volleyball, music highlight NHL’s outdoor game in Los Angeles

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    A rendering of the final look for Dodger Stadium's outdoor game on Jan. 25.

    A rendering of the final look for Dodger Stadium’s outdoor game on Jan. 25.

    By Tim Newcomb

    If you like a little beach volleyball with your ice hockey, you’ll feel right at home in Dodger Stadium on Saturday night.

    For the second of the NHL’s six outdoor games this season, and the first in league’s new Stadium Series, a rink has been set up in L.A.’s 51-year-old major league ballpark for the game between the Kings and the Ducks. The game will be California’s first-ever NHL outdoor game, as well as the league’s first al fresco regular season tilt played west of the Mississippi River. Chavez Ravine is also the southern-most location for such an event.

    But this venue’s arrangement will look a lot different than the Jan. 1 cold weather Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.

    MORE: The Making of Stadium Hockey | GALLERY: NHL outdoor games through the years

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  • Published On Jan 24, 2014
  • Taking the NHL Outside: The making of stadium hockey

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    By Tim Newcomb

    It doesn’t take a meteorologist to know that a sheet of NHL ice outdoors — in stadiums that seat more than 100,000, no less — offers both an aesthetically pleasing visual effect and plenty of challenging weather questions. Just ask NHL ice guru Dan Craig.

    The league has expanded its outdoor program from one or two games per year to six across five North American stadiums — including Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles — presenting Craig with his biggest and most difficult job yet. The scariest part? All of his efforts in the widely varying locales will be at the mercy of the elements, which will ultimately determine the final quality of the ice.

    GALLERY: The NHL’s Outdoor Games

    The 2014 outdoor series begins with the Maple Leafs against the Red Wings at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Jan. 1. Craig tells Sports Illustrated that he’s hoping for a “party house,” and he may get one. “Michigan, because it is the Big House, it will be absolutely amazing to stand out on that field and have 110,000 screaming fans,” he says. “I can’t imagine that, as a hockey player. They will get jacked right up.”

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  • Published On Dec 31, 2013
  • Pittsburgh Penguins reveal jerseys for Stadium Series contest

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    By Allan Muir

    On March 1, the Pittsburgh Penguins will ditch the comfy confines of temperature-controlled indoor hockey for an old-fashioned battle with the elements, and the Blackhawks, at Chicago’s legendary Soldier Field.

    That game is still a ways off, but Christmas isn’t. So with less than two weeks of shopping to go, the Pens finally unveiled the last-minute gift every yinzer is adding to his wish list: Pittsburgh’s special Stadium Series sweater.

    Was it worth the wait? Yup.

    According to the team, the jersey was designed with creative input from the NHL and Reebok which, unlike Nike, doesn’t appear to be on a mission to make hockey players look ridiculous.

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  • Published On Dec 13, 2013


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