On Friday, Sidney Crosby found out that his jersey number 87 won’t just be retired by Rimouski Oceanic, the QMJHL team he dominated for in 2003-04 and 2004-05, but that his number 87 is being retired across that entire junior league.
It’s fitting, really, considering how fixated Crosby is on the number 87.
As you may know, Crosby was born on Aug. 7, 1987, aka 8-7-87. The Pittsburgh Penguins likely feel quite fond of that 87, too, as they were able to sign him far below market value at $8.7 million in AAV from 2013-14 through 2024-25. Crosby also carried that $8.7M cap hit during his previous contract, from 2008-09 to 2012-13.
So … yeah, the fellow cares about 87. Frankly, if Cap Friendly had a Hall of Fame, that $8.7M would probably be retired, too.
Now, the NHLPA? They probably haven’t been too thrilled with Crosby’s fixation.
Either way, it seemed like a touching ceremony for Crosby:
… who felt 16 again:
And now we can all feel that much older, if Crosby hitting 1,000 regular season games played didn’t already do the trick.
The QMJHL notes some of Crosby’s biggest accomplishments at that level, and that Crosby and Patrice Bergeron are the only two QMJHL players to win the “Triple Crown” of gold in the Olympics, gold at the world championships, and a Stanley Cup.
The Nova Scotian gathered plenty of hardware, winning multiple QMJHL and CHL awards along the way. He captured the prestigious Paul-Dumont trophy awarded to the League’s top personality twice, two Michel-Brière trophies as Most Valuable Player and one playoff MVP crown (Guy-Lafleur trophy). He remains the only player in history to win back to back CHL Player of the Year awards. Crosby also captured silver at the 2004 World Junior Championship and gold the following year.
Crosby scored 54 goals and 135 points in 59 games as a rookie with Rimouski Oceanic in 2003-04, then topped that work in 2004-05, collecting 66 goals and 168 points in 62 regular-season games. His playoff run in 2004-05 might have been most impressive of all: 14 goals, 31 points in just 13 games.
He turned out pretty OK in the NHL, too, and you can basically set your watch to the Penguins retiring his number 87 when they get the chance.
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James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.