Selected first over-all in the 2005 NHL entry draft, Nova Scotia’s Sidney Crosby didn’t disappoint. He went from a player with potential to a marquee name in his rookie season (2005-2006) with the Pittsburgh Penguins when, at age 18, he became the youngest player to score 100 points in one season. Could he build on that initial success? The answer in 2006-2007 was a resounding Yes! Crosby closed out his second season with 36 goals and 84 assists, becoming the youngest player to win the Art Ross Trophy as the league scoring champion. He also earned the Hart Trophy as NHL most valuable player and the Lester B. Pearson Award as league’s outstanding player, voted upon by his peers. Indeed, “Sid The Kid” was considered the most exciting hockey talent since Wayne Gretzky and, like the Great One, his skill and exuberance on the ice were complemented by a confident, diplomatic demeanour away from the rink.

At age 21, he was the second youngest player on the 2008-2009 Pittsburgh Penguins’ roster, but as team captain Sidney Crosby enjoyed a special privilege before his more experienced teammates – hoisting the Stanley Cup. Crosby led Pittsburgh to its first Stanley Cup in 17 years and became just the sixth hockey player to win Canadian Male Athlete of the Year more than once.

Sidney Crosby joined the rare group of players renowned for scoring “the goal”: Bobby Orr flew through the air after his overtime winner securing the 1970 Stanley Cup for Boston. Paul Henderson became a Canadian icon after his goal gave Team Canada victory over the Soviet Union at the 1972 Summit Series. Mario Lemieux took a pass from Wayne Gretzky to score the game winning goal in overtime for Canada in the deciding game of the 1987 Canada Cup in Hamilton. Crosby’s goal was truly golden as it came in overtime of the men’s Olympic hockey final , giving Canada a 3-2 win over the United States to cap the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

Wendy Long

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