Penguins Elite to Participate in Prestigious Quebec International Pee Wee Tournament
While many of the Penguins players are in Sochi to participate in the Winter Olympic Games, members of Pittsburgh Penguins Elite will also be competing internationally in a prestigious tournament of their own.
During the NHL Olympic break, the program is sending its Pee-Wee Major Team (2001 birth years) – coached by former Penguin and three-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Recchi – to the 55th Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament from Feb. 12-23 at the Pepsi Coliseum.
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The tournament, founded back in 1960, is the most prominent minor hockey tournament in the world. About 2,200 young hockey players from 15 countries around the world travel to Quebec to participate in the event, which takes place over a 12-day span – with crowds totaling around 200,000 fans every year.
To further illustrate the importance of this tournament, just look at some of the past participants – who went on to be some of the greatest hockey players of all time. Many stars from the National Hockey League have passed through this tournament, including Wayne Gretzky, Brad Park, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Gilbert Perrault, Mark Howe, Sylvain Côté, Eric Lindros, and many others – including Penguins owner Mario Lemieux.
These young Pittsburghers are certainly going to get a chance to follow in some impressive footsteps, and they cannot wait.
"When we first broached the subject of going to Québec with the team and parents at the beginning of the season, they were obviously very excited,” said team business manager Tim Krock. “As the season has progressed and we have gotten closer to the Québec International Tournament, the team has become much more excited about the chance to play in such an exciting event.
“The tournament has a very rich tradition, and I think that the boys really do understand that. We are very grateful to have this opportunity, and it is in large part a reality due to the generosity of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Dick's Sporting Goods, and GNC."
Thanks to GNC, not only does this Penguins Elite team get to participate in this tournament that will feature the best Pee-Wee hockey teams from around the world and promises to be a competitive and fun atmosphere – but they’ll be doing it in a way that honors their own rich tradition. Going back into the archives, this team will be wearing the old-school black and yellow sweaters that the Pittsburgh Penguins (and their coach Recchi) wore back in the early 1990s.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, Pittsburgh Penguins Elite and GNC would like to wish this team the best of luck as they venture north of the border and look to find success in such a prestigious tournament.