Pens fans everywhere have had this date circled on their calendars for months. December 29th marks the first return for former Penguins Max Talbot and Jaromir Jagr wearing their black and orange.
After Jagr Watch occurred for most of June until finally ending on July 1st, Pens fans pictured the return of one of the best players in team history. No one could ever imagine that number 68 would sign with cross-state rival Philadelphia.
The same could be said for former game 7 savior Max Talbot. Although not typically known for his goal scoring abilities, Talbot brought character to the Pens lineup that was unmatchable. Being the guy in the locker room who could bring a joke when needed to loosen the team up was important. Many Pens fans knew that Talbot would most likely not resign after his contract expired due to the Pens tight budget, but many could never imagine him signing with the black and orange.
I remember that day very well. There were rumors swirling of Montreal, Toronto and Chicago being interested in Talbot. I was fine with that. Moving on for more money was acceptable and Max could find a team that loved him as much as we did. But hearing that he signed with Philly, our most hated rivals, was surprising and to be honest, was sickening.
Well today is the day we have waited for. It should be interesting to see what the crowd reaction will be for both players. Okay, let’s be honest, we know Jagr is going to be booed like there’s no tomorrow.
Especially after telling reporters yesterday, “How can there be such bad attitude and anger from these people?” “What kind of world are we in right now? That’s (expletive) scary. We should be in a world with a lot of love.”
Well I think we all know what the crowd reaction is going to be with Jagr, even though I think the boos might go to his ego.
But Talbot is the one that should be interesting. Should you really boo someone who helped you win the Stanley Cup? But then again I think his “Shhhh” moment against the Flyers will go down into Pens-Flyers history no matter what team he plays for.
Tonight is the night the cross-state rivalry intensity is stepped up a notch.