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Crosby’s number 87 retired across QMJHL


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 phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Patrick Roy returns to Quebec Remparts as GM and head coach

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You can remove Patrick Roy’s name from any list of potential NHL coaching hires this summer. The 52-year-old Hockey Hall of Famer is returning to junior hockey and once again will be coaching the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Roy, who will also be the team’s general manager, held both roles as well as part-owner during his first tenure with the Remparts from 2005-2013. In eight seasons, he led the team to four division titles, eight playoff appearances and the 2006 Memorial Cup title.

He said on Thursday that he began thinking about the job after Philippe Boucher resigned from both positions with the Remparts earlier this month.

[NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub]

After leaving the Remparts in 2013, Roy was named head coach and vice president of hockey operations for the Colorado Avalanche and led them to a 102-point season and a playoff berth after a three-year absence. That improvement resulted in him being named the 2014 Jack Adams Award winner.

But after that, things did not go so well. The Avalanche would regress and miss the playoffs the next two seasons. A month before training camp opened in 2016, Roy abruptly resigned, noting that his vision for the team did not “align” with that of the organization.


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.


Sharks sign ‘15 first rounder Timo Meier


The San Jose Sharks have signed Timo Meier to a standard, entry-level contract, the club announced on Wednesday.

Meier was the ninth overall pick at last month’s NHL Draft.

“Timo is a dynamic forward who has outstanding finishing skills,” said Sharks’ GM Doug Wilson. “His big, pro frame allows him to be successful in all three zones, and his high hockey IQ has already become evident at our Prospects Development Camp. We look forward to watching his continued development.”

The 6-foot-1, 209-pound forward has spent the past two seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Herisau, Switzerland native scored 44 goals and 90 points in 61 regular season games with Halifax during the 2014-15 season.

He was awarded the 2015 Michael Bossy Trophy given to the QMJHL player judged to be the best professional prospect.

Meier represented Switzerland at the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship scoring two goals and four assists in six games.

“Timo is an accomplished goal scorer who had an excellent season in Halifax last year,” Sharks’ Director of Scouting Tim Burke said. “A strong body, good skater, and versatile player, we were very excited to take him with the 9th overall pick.”

Photo courtesy of the San Jose Sharks

Joseph Veleno granted exceptional status, eligible for QMJHL draft


Joseph Veleno is the latest player to be granted exceptional status.

Hockey Canada informed Quebec Major Junior Hockey League commissioner Gilles Courteau of Veleno’s eligibily for this Saturday’s entry draft the league announced on Thursday.

Veleno, who turned 15 in January, spent this season playing midget hockey.

The 6-foot, 170-pound forward finished 12th in his league in scoring with 52 points in 41 games while playing with the Lac St. Louis Lions, according to an article in the Montreal Gazette.

“There is a talent there that plays a 200-foot game, which is rare at that age,” Veleno’s coach, Jon Goyens said. “We’ve been very lucky to be able to coach some of the most talented kids (Jonathan Drouin, Anthony Duclair, Louis Leblanc, Mike Matheson) to come out of Quebec in the last 10, 15 years. Not all of them necessarily had the 200-foot game in them; they might have had other elements, like stickhandling or vision, that might have been ahead of Joseph. But nobody at his age was playing, as a skilled forward, a 200-foot game, which is really, really rare.”

Connor McDavid, John Tavares, Aaron Ekblad and Sean Day have all been granted exceptional player status previously, but Veleno is the first player out of Quebec to receive the honor.

“If you’re going to be the first guy (in Quebec) to get exceptional status, right off the bat you’re going to be compared to the four or five guys who got it in the ‘O’ (Ontario Hockey League), and you’re going to be compared to those who didn’t get it,” Goyens said.

The Saint John Sea Dogs hold the first overall selection at the draft.

Photo courtesy of the Montreal Gazette

Trade: Rangers acquire draft pick from Bolts for Walcott


The New York Rangers have re-acquired the seventh round pick for this month’s draft, which they initially sent to Tampa Bay in the Martin St. Louis deal last season.

In exchange, the Lightning receive prospect Daniel Walcott.

Walcott finished his second season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this year with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound, blue liner had seven goals and 41 points in 54 regular season games.

The 21-year-old also appeared in one American Hockey League game with the Hartford Wolf Pack registering a minus-1 rating.

Walcott was originally the Rangers fifth round selection (140th overall) in 2014.