PITTSBURGH — If the Penguins are saying goodbye to “Vegas gold,” count student Anngela Monaco among those fans pining for the team to return to the Pittsburgh gold and black jerseys of her youth.
Monaco, 20, is among many fans hoping there is truth behind the longstanding rumor that the franchise will get new uniforms for next season’s 50th anniversary season with a color scheme consistent with classic Mario Lemieux-era “Pittsburgh gold” and black.
Monaco is a student at Carlow University, and so fond of the Pittsburgh gold uniforms from her youth, that she opened a Twitter account last August to drum up support. She named it PGH Gold Movement, and the handle is: Penguins—Gold.
If the change is arriving as soon as next week’s Stanley Cup Playoffs begin, the Penguins aren’t saying.
“We’re not going to comment right now,” Penguins spokesman Tom McMillan said on Friday. He said any playoff related announcements will come next week.
But there are several signs around the city that support Monaco’s hope that the Penguins will make the change.
Earlier this year, the Penguins released their 50th anniversary logo for the upcoming season, which had not a hint a Vegas gold — a lighter, more metallic color — but instead, featured the Lemieux-era Pittsburgh gold — similar to the gold worn by the Steelers and Pirates, or as some people call it, “yellow.”
The team’s Stanley Cup Playoff logo also featured Pittsburgh gold, which is the color scheme featured on the team’s alternate jerseys this season. Their regular home and away sweaters feature Vegas gold.
Several local vendors have heavily discounted Vegas gold merchandise in recent months, including one who said his vendors told him that Vegas gold would soon be history.
“As of right now the Vegas gold is gone,” said Jim Coen, owner of Yinzers in the Strip District. “They’re going to go to more of the old black and yellow, more like the Lemieux era.”
Coen said he often gets notice from his vendors so he can clear out merchandise to make way for a new jersey, or before an old one is no longer the hot ticket.
“They usually give us a heads up when they tell us they’re not going to sell something,” Coen said. “We put our Vegas Gold 50 percent off.”
He even keeps his ear to the pavement when trade rumors swirl.
“If we think a player is going to be traded. He goes on sale,” said Coen. “We’re pretty sharp. If a player is going to be traded, very rarely do we get stuck with stuff. That’s when we start banging them out.”
Vegas gold jerseys in the team store at Consol Energy Center have been on sale for several weeks now, along with many area sports merchandise shops. Pro Image Sports in Ross Park Mall recently had all its Vegas gold merchandise marked down by 75 percent.
Chris Creamer, who runs the website SportsLogos.net tweeted earlier this winter that “Yes, can confirm the (hashtag)Penguins will have new uniforms next season.”
What those uniforms look like is anybody’s guess, but Monaco hopes they have a familiar hue.
Monaco said she and her mom, Laura Monaco, who are from Pleasant Hills, have had a season ticket package to the Penguins since she was 3.
Her favorite players were Alexei Kovalev, Jaromir Jagr and Darius Kasparaitis, and created an attachment to the color scheme they wore.
“They were my favorites. I would go to games and see them in those jerseys,” Monaco said. “That’s probably what I remember most. I know the Pens had those slumping years before we got (Sidney) Crosby, but I had those fond memories from when I was a little kid.”