Winning the Stanley Cup forges a really special bond in an organization. The players basically become brothers, being around each other for all hours of the day for nine straight months, traveling around the country. Enduring practices. The media. Coaches yelling at them and drilling them. Opposing fans. Home fans telling them to shoot when there's no shooting lane. Opposing players trying to destroy them.
It's no secret as Ray Shero's dad once said, you win the Cup and you walk together forever. And it's true. The bond is further forged when the whole family - parents, siblings, significant others and maybe most importantly the children get to help celebrate on the ice with the players who have sacrificed so much to achieve their goals.
Ok, so done waxing poetically, here's what you came for. Cute kids and the fun.
What better way to lead it off with arguably the most photogenic family around, and star of many an "In the Room" show Alex Letang, son of Kris Letang out on the ice again.
I mean, this kid is just the Prince of Pittsburgh
PenguinsWorId) June 12, 2017
Here's newest Penguin dad Carter Rowney and his parents and wife talking after the win:
Sadly, no evidence of Baby Rowney in the Cup just yet, if you see it put it in the comments and we will update.
Team Dad (and real dad!) Matt Cullen got a little bit of a Gatorade spray from one of his boys.
If this is it for Cullen, what a career and what a moment.
So proud of you, Dad. pic.twitter.com/fj4XC7cVfP— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 12, 2017
Trevor Daley has been through a lot, losing his mom last year to cancer shortly after the 2016 Cup win, where Sidney Crosby passed him the Cup first to be sure TV would capture the moment and she would see her boy lift it from her hospital room. She couldn't be here tonight in person but definitely was on his mind as he played and won another Stanley Cup in her honor and definitely made his family proud once again.
Nick Bonino didn't let a broken freakin tibia stop him from getting on skates and celebrating with adorable daughter Maze.
Maze is barely more than a year old but has already been seated in the Cup 2 times.
BABY BONINO BONINO BONINO BONINO pic.twitter.com/nWQmhhIelb— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) June 12, 2017
Patric Hornqvist scores the game winning goal with a broken finger and gets to have his moment with his family and the prize.
Fleury fulfills his media obligations while holding his daughter
She was probably over all of the attention though this late at night (hard to blame her!)
'Can we go, Dad?' pic.twitter.com/sqiI2sqBxs— Matt Gajtka (@MattGajtka) June 12, 2017
Marc-Andre Fleury's wife drinks from the Cup in the room with Letang pulling the assist
Evgeni Malkin gets a big old smooch from his wife.
Pure joy.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 12, 2017
And big kisses for family and the Stanley Cup! pic.twitter.com/TyC3kpNsVy
Gene's wife giving the happy dance later in the room is what it's all about.
BOTTLES POPPIN' pic.twitter.com/zm5rGeatbJ— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) June 12, 2017
Sidney Crosby with his family on the ice.
And the Crosbys in 2017. pic.twitter.com/QCgcsLE1DK— m g (@kikkerlaika) June 12, 2017
And again with a special moment with biggest fan, his momma.
It's not embeddable but Carl Hagelin had his family over from Sweden and was very appreciative of them helping him on his journey in this video: http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/hagelin-credits-family-stanley-cup/
Rookie sensation Jake Guentzel got to share a special moment with his family
Nice to meet you Stanley!!! pic.twitter.com/hYqme3sYpQ— Jake Guentzel (@jakenbake20) June 12, 2017
Phil Kessel got his 2nd on-ice picture with his family in as many years of being a Pittsburgh Penguin.
The Kessel Fam. pic.twitter.com/N1HJVnyWVK— NHL on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) June 12, 2017
Chris Kunitz is happy to be a 4 time Cup champion, but even happier to hold his daughter in his arms.
He's also lifting something way more important the the Cup here. pic.twitter.com/4R0skmrieJ— m g (@kikkerlaika) June 12, 2017
And though not blood relatives, here's what it's like to bring the Cup into the room to keep the party rolling with your brothers.
What a ride. The Penguins have done it again and now they get a summer to enjoy their ultimate accomplishment. If we missed any great moments, point them out in the comments to add it to this list. Back to back champs, baby!