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Welcome to The Real DFG's Pittsburgh Penguin Autograph Project. My goal is to eventually try and get at least one autograph of every player to lace up the skates in an NHL game for the Pittsburgh Penguins. It could have been for one game or 700 games, I will add them. Occasionally I may post cards of former players in their new team uniforms. While the goal is to get autos in Pens uni's, it isn't always possible. Since the team has been in existence since 1967, the list is pretty large. Last I checked, it was somewhere in the range of 624 different players. Currently, I sit at about 100 autographs (with some duplication). Enjoy the posts.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Joe Vitale

I'm still trying to remember where I got this from.  I'm not sure if I pulled this directly from a pack of 2011-12 Crown Royale, or bought it on Ebay, or picked it up from a show, or if someone gave it to me.  It sucks getting old.  But hey, at least it's an on-card auto, right?

Joe Vitale is a highly touted member of what I call the Pens "generation next" squad and he has earned that respect through hard work and dedication each and every night his number is called.

He may not be the flashiest player but that's not what the team is looking for in his style of play.  He is a defensively minded forward with face-off abilities beyond comparison on the team (last I checked he was a 65.2% success).  Fourth liner guys generally don't get the respect they deserve because they aren't the 40 goal scorers and they aren't the work horse ice time guys.  But Vitale has earned every opportunity he has been given.

This year, the Pens fourth line with Vitale, Craig Adams and rookie Tanner Glass, has done some pretty amazing things on the ice.  Although he isn't always in the lineup (because of the depth the Pens have) Vitale makes the best of every moment on the ice.  He is a battler, an agitator if you will.  Not the dirty kind, but the kind that will get to the puck at all cost and gets under the skin of the other guys on the ice because of his relentless pursuit.  His aggressive play is what earns my respect and I wish he could get more ice time. 

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