The Penguins presented their championship rings in numerical order at a private dinner last night, which meant that captain Sidney Crosby had to wait and wait and wait for the serious bling that was to come. It was, of course, worth the time to place an ornament with the heft of a rock on his finger.
Crosby showed off the white and yellow gold band decorated with 167 diamonds, which was enough ice to replicate the surface at Mellon Arena.
"It's a pretty nice ring," Crosby said with classic understatement.
Rings were made for 52 players, coaches, staff and executives, and most were presented in person at a dinner at LeMont Restaurant on Mount Washington. The ceremony was held three days before the Penguins begin defense of their title, which team officials hoped would mark the end of the celebration and get the players in the proper frame of mind to begin another title journey.
"It's a good way to close it off," Crosby said. "Once you get a taste of that, that's a lot of motivation. We want to move on."
Each ring featured a player's name and number as well as a list of the four playoff victories. Tribute was also paid to the two other Stanley Cups won by the franchise. The jewelry, manufactured by Intergold, was designed in consultation with Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle, general manager Ray Shero and coach Dan Bylsma.
Billy Guerin picked up the theme of the Penguins enjoying the moment before getting back to work against the New York Rangers. The Stanley Cup banner will be raised before the game Friday.
"The ring is the icing on the cake," he said. "It is hardware, but it's not hard to wear. Just like everything else with the Pittsburgh Penguins, it's first class. But now it's back to work. Everybody wants to beat us, and we want to win again."
Robert Dvorchak can be reached at email@example.com . First Published September 30, 2009 4:00 AM