Hundreds of jersey-wearing hockey fans from around the area braved the snow Friday evening to meet Pittsburgh Penguins right winger Tyler Kennedy at the Cranberry Giant Eagle.
The hockey star was in the store on Route 19 to meet with fans and sign autographs as part of the grocer’s grand reopening celebration. In December, the Giant Eagle added beer sales and a new café to the store. Other additions included an Asian buffet, a made-to-order sub shop and a large, new health, beauty and wellness section.
By 6 p.m., a long line of fans snaked throughout the new café and across the produce section. Payton Brown, 6, of Cranberry, was thrilled when Kennedy signed a hockey puck for him and another one for his older brother, Connor.
They’re big Penguins fans,” said the boys’ mother.
Other fans inquired about Kennedy’s health. According to the Penguins organization, Kennedy will be out of the lineup for four to six weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain late in the third period of last week’s loss to the New Jersey Devils.
Kennedy smiled when asked questions about his ankle and said he’d be fine.
The hockey player’s appearance also attracted Pens fans from across the Pittsburgh region. Billy Cole, 27, of Monroeville, waited in line to meet Kennedy and then jetted off to the Giant Eagle in Leetsdale for a similar meet and greet with Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland.
Cole, who made it to his next destination just as the store manager prepared to cut off the line, said the line was just as long at the Leetsdale store as it was at the Cranberry location.