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Penguins Report: Cooking and Wiffleball

Thursday, 07.17.2014 / 4:21 PM ET / Features
By Katie Foglia
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Penguins Report: Cooking and Wiffleball

Batter's up! The Pens prospects got to channel their inner Andrew McCutchen today during a wiffleball tournament at the UPMC indoor track. The guys split into six teams and all got a chance to play each other throughout the afternoon. While some of the guys, like hometown kid Sam Lafferty, were naturals, others had a tougher time getting the bat and ball to connect.

Good thing they're so good at hockey, right? But the tournament wasn't just about wiffleball. It was an important team-bonding experience for the players, even if they couldn't get that home run they always wanted. Bill Guerin wasn't afraid to step in and show the guys a thing or two. But more of that later. Check out the photos below...

Explaining the rules for today's friendly wiffleball tournament.

Woah, look at that pitch. Watch out Gerrit Cole.

Brian Dumoulin talking trash to the other team.

Hey Kasperi, whatcha doing down there?

Netminder Tristan Jarry gives it a go.

Great teamwork by Kapanen and Dumoulin on getting the ball back before the runner hit third.

Billy G stepped in to show the guys proper form.

A classic team celly after winning in extra innings.

Hometown kid Sam Lafferty pitching near the Steelers logo.

Ahhhhhh it's gonna explode!


Today the Pens prospects learned some new skills off the ice in the Lexus Club at CONSOL Energy Center. The guys traded skates and sticks for plates and forks, and observed a cooking class. They even got to do some taste testing, but we'll get to that later.

The chef started with the basics, teaching the guys about all of the essential nutrients and minerals found in foods (including protein, fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin A and potassium) and their benefits. They then learned how to cook a complete meal and started with a not-so-simple salad. Defenseman Harrison Ruopp was the first to volunteer when the chef asked for assistance. He assisted in making an orange vinaigrette dressing from scratch and put it onto a kale, fennel, orange, pine nut and golden raisin salad. Fancy, I know.

Next up was the main course. Herb-scented chicken breast and pan-seared halibut were the two entrees on the menu. The chef, with help from defenseman Reid McNeill, seasoned the chicken and fish and showed the guys how to properly cook it. But no meal is complete without dessert, and forward Adam Payerl helped cook the healthy option of grilled peaches with blackberries and lime sour cream.

Today wasn't just about cooking. It was about cooking healthy. Some of the guys are already on their own, and the others will be shortly. It is important for them to learn how to make smart decisions when buying food and then being able to safely cook it. The players can take the skills they learned this week, on and off of the ice, and implement them into their game and life for years to come.

The boys were eager to do some taste testing.

And just like that, with a hand shake and some claps, the cooking class was over.

Atta boy, Payerl. Sprinkle that seasoning on those peaches.

Adam Payerl, the 23-year-old forward, wasn't afraid to step up and show the younger guys how it's done.

Well, this is precious.

Mmmm kale leaves.

Shake it up.

Don't forget to wash your hands before you touch the food, Harrison!

What's everybody looking at?

Harrison Ruopp was the first to volunteer.

Ooooh, the Lexus Club.


The Penguins prospects conducted youth hockey clinics at five dek hockey rinks across the city and county yesterday. The guys helped run the camps, assisted in drills and even got some playing time during scrimmages. Throughout their week at development camp, the players work out and train on and off the ice, but what they do outside of CONSOL Energy Center is just as important as what they do inside.

One of the most important parts of camp is teaching prospects what it means to be a professional hockey player and a Pittsburgh Penguin. And that means giving back to the community. Kasperi Kapanen, Tristan Jarry, Brian Dumoulin, Anton Zlobin, Jean-Sebastien Dea and Ryan Segalla were all assigned to the rink in Brookline. Here's photos of their visit...

Forward Kasperi Kapanen and defenseman Brian Dumoulin helped the kids line up before practice.

A rogue ball flew up as the prospects practiced with a young goalie.

A perfectly executed pass made by our very own Kasperi Kapanen.

You can see the grit and determination in her eyes. 

Look at that hustle.

Brian Dumoulin tries to keep up with an eager young winger in his flip flops.

Fist bumps all around.

Anton Zlobin, a right winger, plays defense against a fleet-footed forward.

The prospects talked to Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto. 

Let's have a staring contest... Go!

The mayor spoke to the children and players about how important the dek hockey rink is to the community.

Say cheeseeee!

Kasperi is working on his signature.

Nothing like a group photo, am I right?

Today the Pens prospects did not skate, which means they did not have media availability. But they still had a busy day. The guys trained off the ice this morning and went to a cooking class in the Lexus Club in CONSOL Energy Center in the afternoon. They sat and observed how to make healthy meals packed with nutrients and minerals. Later, they were able to taste test the meals. A few hours after their food digested, the players jumped onto a bus and headed to the UPMC indoor training facility on the South Side for a friendly wiffleball tournament. We have all of the behind-the-scenes photos from today here in the blog - enjoy!
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