In today’s least-surprising news, Sidney Crosby was named captain of Team Canada for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Crosby, who scored the gold medal-winning goal for Canada against the United States at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, is the best player on Canada’s roster and as well as captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The bigger news here would’ve been if he wasn’t named to lead the team.
Joining Crosby as leaders will be Team Canada’s alternate captains — Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and Nashville’s Shea Weber. Both players are captains of their NHL teams as well giving Canada numerous character guys to take charge.
If the Olympics were based on the number of captains on a roster, Canada would be a heavy favorite there as well.
Be sure to tune in tonight at 11 p.m. ET on NBCSN for Sidney Crosby’s chat with Bob Costas in the latest edition of Costas Tonight.
A few excerpts from the interview:
Crosby on scoring the overtime goal against Team USA in the 2010 Olympics to clinch the gold medal in Vancouver: “Scoring an overtime-winning goal in your own country, playing for Canada, a country that’s so passionate about hockey – it’s pretty special…playing for Canada, we always know that expectations are high. But being in Canada, in the Winter Olympics, we knew we had to find a way.”
Crosby on Russian LGBT Laws and 2014 Sochi Games: “Growing up in Canada, that’s something I never even really thought about or discussed – it didn’t matter. Anyone had the opportunity to play a sport, and to go through that was something that was a learning experience for me. I never even thought that’s something that would come up.”
Crosby on his history with concussions: “I look back to the first time I came back from the concussion, and I almost overdid it. I almost hit guys more than I typically would. I went into those areas probably when I didn’t need to almost to prove to yourself that, ‘hey, everything’s good.’”
Image via the Penguins’ Instagram
Think of the ways your favorite local sports hero can become a heel. We’ve seen a few of them lately. You can be accused of murder, use performance-enhancing drugs, or find other ways to wind up on the back page.
Sidney Crosby managed to upset some Pittsburgh-area people by cutting to the front of the line at the Pennsylvania DMV. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shares Sid the Kid’s tale of living the dream (via Puck Daddy) and the others who didn’t much care for it.
“I disapprove,” said 46-year-old Susan Campbell of Cranberry, who later in the day spent an hour and half at the center off McKnight Road and waited in line twice to help her 20-year-old daughter, Jessica, renew her license before heading off to college. “He should have to sit and wait with everyone else.”
As for why Sid the Kid was allowed to jump ahead of everyone, DMV employees have the ability to let anyone who might cause a disruption go to the front.
Crosby in an office with lots of Pittsburgh sports fans and potential starstruck teenagers alike? They’re fortunate the line to get into the DMV didn’t go down the block. As for the rest of us who still have to wait in an interminably long line, we’ll be over here seething with jealousy.
In case you missed it, National Hockey League players will once again be participating in the Winter Olympics.
This time it’s in Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Games. Canada enters the competition having won gold in the both the women’s and men’s ice hockey events in Vancouver four years ago.
And at the top of the podium is where people across Canada – and from all walks of life – want the Red and White to be standing when next year’s tournament is over.
Of course, Sidney Crosby, who scored the game-winning goal against the U.S. in Vancouver, is likely to lead Canada’s hockey team in a few months time. He knows what’s at stake.
It’s also worth mentioning that after winning gold at the 2002 Olympics, the Canadian team fell flat in Torino, Italy, and placed a disastrous seventh place.
“I think when you play for Canada, that’s the expectation,” said Crosby, as per the Pittsburgh Penguins website.
“I have never been to Russia, (but) obviously everyone knows the history with Canada-Russia in ’72 and ’87 and the list goes on and on. I think that right there, having the opportunity to play hockey in Russia is pretty special.
“But with the Olympics in general, I think that just being Canadian, you realize pretty quickly that people come together at that time of year especially. When it’s hockey, even more so. So I think yeah, you want to go there and find a way to win gold.”
If you’ve followed high-end 2013 NHL Draft prospect Nathan MacKinnon’s story at all, you probably know that he comes from Cole Harbour, Novia Scotia, just like Sidney Crosby.
It might as well be the first line of any scouting report for MacKinnon.
The budding star didn’t distance himself from the connection, telling The Star that he owes a lot to the 25-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins captain.
“He didn’t know if he could (make it) being from a small town,” MacKinnon said of Crosby. “For me, I looked at him, and said if he could do it, I could do it as well. He paved the way for kids from small towns.”
Still, MacKinnon said that Crosby is “on another level,” so he needed individual moments to feel like he belonged at the highest level of competition.
“The first time I realized I could make it, I went to Toronto when I was 9 or 10 in tournaments,” said MacKinnon.
“You kind of realize you can play with those guys. I was doing well against Toronto kids. You know their track record. That’s when I figured I could play. I know I was young but I got focused on the NHL.”