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Monday, July 26, 2010

Rest In Peace John Barbaro

You may not know who he is and that's perfectly fine. However, if you went to any Pittsburgh Penguins game at the Civic Arena/Mellon Arena for the past 34 years, excluding last year you know exactly who he is. He was the voice of the Mellon Arena.

Every time a goal was scored, he was the one you heard. With distinctive, smooth, elongated delivery for every Pittsburgh Penguin who scored an entire general plus grew up with his infamous, "Number Six-D-Six... Mario... LEMMMMMEEEEEEEWWWWWWWW" every time Mario would pot one behind the goaler. "Number Eight-D-Seven Sidney CRRRRRROOSSSSSSBBBBBEEEEE" with a roll of the "r" to add accent. He brought a life to the game that was extremely special and unique.

He went out on top, his last game being Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2009. He sat out last year as the cancer he would eventually succumb to began to take it's hold. The biggest shame was that he was unable to come back for the opening ceremony of the season and raising the Cup or the final game at Mellon, who he was as much a part of.

While the Penguins had him replaced last year with Ryan Mill, it's a voice that won't be duplicated. While not as well known or as tenured as Bob Sheppard, he's just as beloved in the hearts of true Penguins fans. Below, a good snap shot of Barbaro that FSN Pittsburgh created in 2007.

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