Did Mellon Arena go crazy or what last night when Max Talbot stepped onto the ice for the player introductions? Me, being the gullible viewer that I am, thought maybe there was some sort of magnificent superstar trick up his sleeve and that maybe his injury and recovery were all just part of a grand scheme to get him on the ice for the opener. Sounds like something he'd do.
Then I realized his shoulder pads were a little smaller than usual (no pads) and that he was, in fact, not going to play. Drag.
But once again our good friend Becky comes up big with a translation of Max's blog. Take the jump to see what he has to say about the progress of his rehab, the awesomeness of the Stanley Cup ring and the team's belief in making a repeat run.
The following was translated from Max's blog post from RDS.ca.
A MAGNIFICENT RING BEFORE THE SEASON
We received our Stanley Cup rings Tuesday, and they are sick! It’s really an example of Mario Lemieux’s class, and the guys were very excited to experience that moment.
While I write these lines, I’m wearing it on my finger and I find it magnificent. We received the rings during an evening ceremony arranged for all the players and their wives, as well as the owners, investors, and staff of the organization. The evening included a cocktail party, dinner, and a small presentation. Then the rings were given out one player at a time.
Allow me to describe this little jewel, excuse the pun. On the top is the Penguins logo with the Stanley Cup and the words "Stanley Cup Champions." Then, on one side is inscribed the player’s name along with the teams that we eliminated and the score of the series, like "4-2 Philadelphia," "4-3 Washington"… Each player’s number also appears on this side.
On the other side, three Stanley Cups in diamonds represent the victories of 1991, 1992, and 2009. The 2009 one, of course, occupies the biggest space.
Obviously, this is not a ring that I will wear very often, because it is very big. But I will wear it for important events like a wedding. At any rate, I won’t wear it just to go out to dinner. I’m going to save it for special occasions, such as a visit to a school in order to show it to the children.
Finally back on the ice
Enough talk about the ring, now it’s time to discuss hockey. I started back skating on my own Tuesday, and I can tell you that that does me a lot of good. I was already hanging around with my teammates, but it was really fun to put on my skates for the first time since June 12th.
My rehab is going very well, even though I still feel a little pain in my left shoulder. I’m keeping to the expected schedule, so I feel happy.
We begin our season Friday against the Rangers. The ceremonies surrounding the Stanley Cup victory will end when the banner is raised to the ceiling before the start of this game.
From that moment on, the goal of our team will be to establish ourselves as an elite organization in the NHL. It’s clear that, this season, we are going to have a target on our backs in every match, but we are ready for that scenario.
We expect some very intense games from the very start of the season. The Rangers will obviously be eagerly awaiting us and will try to ruin our party with their new player Marian Gaborik. Oh yes, and I can assure you that Sidney Crosby’s injury is not serious and that he should begin the season in good form.
Our objective remains to get better during the season. We are lucky to be able to rely on 18 players who won the Cup in June, and we have made some good acquisitions in Jay McKee, Martin Skoula, Chris Bourque, and Brent Johnson.
On the other hand, we lost Rob Scuderi, Hal Gill, Petr Sykora, Miroslav Satan, Mathieu Garon, and Philippe Boucher. Scuderi was the piece that it hurt the most to lose, but we managed to replace him adequately.
No question of changing our goal
My teammate and good friend Marc-André Fleury has already stated that he strongly believes in our chances to keep our title. I would say that it is still too early to judge, but that is our goal. All the players and all the teams in the NHL are going for the Stanley Cup.
We have the good fortune to count on a solid foundation and we know what it’s like to be the champion team. We would love to do it again, but we realize that it won’t be easy.