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The colorful cast of characters over the years for the Pens

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A look back at some memorable personalities

Anaheim Ducks v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

As part of their celebration of 10 years of the award winning, behind-the-scenes docu-style series In the Room, the Penguins released a fun summer video highlighting some of the bigger personalities to come through Pittsburgh in the last decade.

A lot of the names on that list from Marc-Andre Fleury to Ryan Reaves and Ian Cole and Phil Kessel and Nick Bonino are frequently cited as a lot of players’ favorite teammates and it’s easy to see why. The NHL season can be an endless slog of practices, travel, games, injury treatment and having some light-hearted ways to brighten the mood are always welcome....Until Fleury pranks a rookie, I guess.

It will be interesting to see if the ESPN marketing machine latches onto any individual hockey personalities or makes stars more out of players. The Pens started producing In the Room in conjunction with the excellent HBO series that leads up to the Winter Classic, and it’s been a great peak taking fans past the whistles to see more of their favorite team.

As the largest sports outlet, ESPN has a lot of power and has magnified sports like football and basketball over the years and now they have hockey back in their programming fold. It won’t be an overnight transition but more exposure to casual fans who might not have NHL on their radar will be a great thing to attract new eyes to the great game of hockey. The NHL got a boatload of money from ESPN too, but their new television partner could provide the other benefit of putting the league more on the map among the competitive and vast array of sports and entertainment options that are available to the public.

And that starts with interesting personalities, which hockey has but has not really gone out of their way to highlight very much. The Pens have had no shortage of interesting characters over the years, even before this in the Ryan Whitney, Paul Bissonnette, Georges Laraque, Hal Gill, Bill Guerin, Pascal Dupuis days there have always been a lot of jokesters or strong characters around. Who are some of your favorite personalities over the years on the Pens?