LeClair a big figure for Pens

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:49 AM ET

John LeClair's contributions to the Pittsburgh Penguins are more subtle these days, but the retired winger is still helping them win.

He shares a stall with winger Ryan Malone in the Penguins dressing room.

LeClair was there yesterday, one arm raised over his head.

This John LeClair is a plastic action figure, about eight inches tall and wearing a Team USA uniform.

"He's cautiously celebrating," said Malone of LeClair's current pose. "Hopefully (tonight) he'll have both arms up."

The LeClair figurine was a gift from the son of West Point hockey coach Bill Riley, who coached Malone when he played at Shattuck-St. Mary's, the famous Minnesota prep school. He's become a lucky charm.

'LOVES THE ROAD'

"I think he actually looks like John LeClair. They both had that bowl (haircut)," said Malone. "If guys have gone a couple of games without a goal, they'll come over and give him a touch, whoever needs it."

"He loves the road," Malone added of this LeClair, which travels in an equipment bag.

The real LeClair was a mentor to Malone during the 2005-06 season, after the veteran winger signed with the Penguins coming out of the lockout. LeClair had 22 goals and 51 points that season, but retired part way through the next season when he had two goals in the first 21 games.

"He was very influential with his style of play. I definitely looked up to him when he was back in Philly ripping it up with three 50-goal seasons in a row (starting in 1995-96)," said Malone, who has five points in this series.


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