Geographic Connection to Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh, Allegheny County
Penguins center Sidney Crosby's skill has brought him the nickname, "the Next One."
Awards: Art Ross Trophy
Sidney Crosby is one of the most electrifying players ever to touch the ice on a hockey rink. Born in 1987, this young superstar is planning to dazzle hockey fans for many years to come. Since Crosby's induction into the NHL during the 2005 season, record books have been rewritten with the name Sidney Crosby. He has been compared to hockey greats such as Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky time and time again. Hailing from Nova Scotia, it did not take long for Sidney to win over the hearts of American hockey fans, specifically those of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Sidney Crosby was born August 7, 1987, in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. Crosby's parents, Tina and Troy, could never imagine on that August day the star their son would become in the National Hockey League or NHL. Crosby was born into a hockey family, with his father Troy being drafted into the NHL as a goalie in 1984 but never saw playing time. It almost seems as if Crosby was born with a hockey stick in his hands and at the age of two was already showing a great interest in the sport. Crosby did not start out on the ice however; he began his hockey career by shooting pucks and rubber balls into the family dryer, which is where he first learned to gain shooting accuracy. His first pair of skates came at the age of three. Crosby did not come from a family of money, which meant it was tough for his family to afford to equip Crosby with the proper gear and travel with him to hockey arenas around the country. His mother had to get an extra job just so the family could afford to buy Crosby the proper hockey attire. She could not imagine at the time how much of a wise investment this would become.
Much as Tiger Woods has seemed gifted beyond his years as a child, so was Sidney Crosby. He had become such a national sensation on the ice. He was able to not only compete but to dominate the game against 17-year-old competitors, while he was just a modest age of 14. Crosby scored an astounding 44 goals in just 31 games in a Triple A league. As he grew older, fans in the NHL could not wait until he came of age to leave Canada and come to the States to play the game he was dominating as a junior player.
Not all of Crosby's junior playing career went smoothly. Crosby was indeed a great player at a young age, but his superior play at a young age also caused him to hit some road blocks. At the age of 15, Crosby was not allowed to enter the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) simply because of his age. Another prominent hockey player by the name of Mario Lemieux ran into the same issue while he was playing junior hockey.
When Crosby was finally of age to play in the QMJHL, he was drafted by the Rimouski Oceanic and he did not wait long to make lasting impressions in the minds of hockey greats. During the 2003 season Crosby was the only kid under 18 who suited up for Canada in the World Junior Championships. During a game against Switzerland he became the youngest player ever to score a goal while wearing that Canadian jersey. Crosby saw the MVP award during the 2004-2005 season in the QMJHL and was finally ready to see play in the National Hockey League.
Crosby saw his NHL career start out in the 2005-2006 season, but this was a season during which the owners and players in the NHL were locked out by the owners due to salary disputes. The entire nation knew Crosby would not be returning to the Canadian leagues and questions about where he would end up were in the minds of everyone around the league. During the lottery of who would become the team to have the first pick in the 2005 draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins got the nod. On July 30, 2005, the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Sidney Crosby at the young age of just 18. It is important to note that, with Crosby on the Penguin's roster, he would have the opportunity to play with his hockey idol, Mario Lemieux. Crosby had a successful rookie season with the Pens, where he recorded 39 goals and 63 assists totaling 102 points which placed him second on the list for rookie for the year, losing to Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.
Crosby became the youngest captain in the NHL when the Pens named him their captain during the 2007 season. He also became the youngest person in the history of the NHL to be awarded the Art Ross Trophy when he racked up 120 points in the 2006-2007 season. The Art Ross Trophy goes to the individual who scores the most points in a season which consists of goals and assists. Crosby is the youngest player to be voted to a NHL All-Star team and also the youngest player ever to reach the 200 point mark on March 2, 2007. The left handed shooter scored his first NHL hat-trick on October 28, 2006 against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Just as all major league sports players have heavy endorsement deals, Crosby is no exception. Crosby is a prominent spokesperson for Reebok and also signed a wealthy deal with a little sports drink company known as Gatorade. Crosby now stands at 5'11" tall and weighs 193 pounds. He proudly wears the number 87 for the Penguins which is also equipped with the C for Captain on his shoulder.
It is hard to say how good Sidney Crosby will become during his NHL career. He is certainly deserving of all the hype he draws from the hockey faithful. He has been compared to hockey greats such as Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux but he has been quoted as saying, "I'm not trying to be the next Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux. I am putting pressure on myself to do my best and perform to my potential." Crosby is certainly a player to watch and while he is in just the beginning of his professional career, he is going to be exciting to watch for years to come. Crosby has racked up record after record and every time he takes the ice, it's exciting to see which record will fall next to the superstar. He is certainly an electrifying player and even if people are not hockey enthusiasts, it would benefit anyone to watch a game to see just how good Sidney Crosby is. It will be fun to watch this superstar as he continues to grow in the league, knowing the sky is the limit for "Sid the Kid."
Anderson, Shelley. 'The Pens Should Trade Sid?' The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 1 Feb. 2008: 1-2.