[This was originally a guest post at pittsburghpenguinsblog.net in October 2009 before the season began, but had disappeared a while back and I'd never grabbed it. I happened to find it today during my lunch break and am reposting it here before it disappears again. I'd wanted to post it originally back at the end of the 2009-2010 season, so I suppose better late than never. Enjoy. -BHR]
The first time I ever stepped foot into the hallowed Igloo, it was 1995 and I was attending my first-ever Penguins game. Granted, it was a preseason game against the Rangers – not to mention the first real date with my then-girlfriend-now-wife – but it was still a moment I remember keenly in my mind of hockey memories.
“Do they open the dome at all?” I’d asked. Because that? Would’ve been the ultimate cool. A Pittsburgh winter night, with outdoor hockey? Awesome.
Alas, my thoughts disappeared less than a moment later when my then-girlfriend laughed at me. A lot.
Back then, it was the Civic Arena. (Still is, depending on my mood when I’m watching a Pens game.) And back then, it was already one of the oldest venues still showcasing the coolest game on ice, with one of the hottest franchises. I’d mourned the loss of the old Chicago Stadium only months before, having been a frequent visitor there to watch the Blackhawks play. Now, I was walking in another historic hockey building. Continue reading