Pens McCann Once ‘Star-struck’ With Current Linemate

Sullivan says third line could be difference-maker

Jeff Hathhorn
July 14, 2020 - 5:57 pm
Pens Patrick Marleau

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – There is an old saying ‘be careful how you treat people.  What you do to others has a funny way of coming back to you’.   That comes to pass for Pens winger Patrick Marleau, who signed a kid’s autograph in 2008 and that kid could now be his key to winning a championship.

“He’s definitely a guy I look up to,” center Jared McCann said of current linemate Marleau.  “I still have a puck at home that he signed for me when I was 12.  It’s pretty cool to be on his line right now.”

McCann said he was star-struck when he met him after a game in Arizona when the Coyotes played the San Jose Sharks.  Now 24, McCann said his dad has been sending him pictures of the puck, which he likely shared with his new linemate.

McCann trying now to share pucks with Marleau, who came to the team from San Jose for a conditional third round pick in late February.

“We look at ourselves like the game-changers,” McCann said of the Pens third line.  “We feel like we have something that a lot of teams don’t.  We’ve got that veteran presence with Paddy (Patrick Marleau) and Horny (Patric Hornqvist) as well.  I’m just trying to compliment them.”

“They potentially could be a really important line for us,” said head coach Mike Sullivan.  “They are three really good players.  They all bring a little something different to the table.”

“I think that’s a line that could be very good for us.  They are a line that could help us at both ends of the rink.”

During the Stanley Cup playoffs of the Pens last championship, not only did the third line or HBK (Hornqvist-Bonino-Kessel) line, produce, it got a cult following among Penguins fans.  Hornqvist remains, but Sullivan believes the new group can also make an impact.

“We think that line has an opportunity to be a difference-maker for us with Jared being a big part of it,” said Sullivan.

McCann says it’s simple, they are at their best when they are simple.

“I think that’s one of the things we need to focus on, get that edge back in our game,” McCann said.  “That fight.  If we do that, then we are going to be ahead of every other team.”

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