COLE HARBOUR, Nova Scotia (KDKA) — While Sidney Crosby has spent plenty of time this summer back in his hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, he is also taking time to reminisce about what has already been a 10-year NHL career.
In those 10 years, Crosby has become the player the Pittsburgh Penguins expected him to be and the ambassador the NHL has needed him to become.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: The Snow Has Arrived
KDKA’s Bob Pompeani sat down with the Penguins’ captain this week at his first annual hockey school.
Pompeani: “Have you ever grown tired of that role?
Crosby: “I wouldn’t say tired. I think sometimes there are things that get a little more attention over things that typically wouldn’t draw attention. The biggest thing for me is to just understand that it’s part of it, and to just go with the flow. I think that’s the best way to handle it. It could be a pretty long season if you let stuff get to you. The goal is enjoying it and winning.”
Winning came early for Crosby.
The Penguins won the Draft Lottery, he won a scoring title, and in just a few years, back-to-back Stanley Cup Final appearances, once lifting of the Cup. But there’s been no championships since then.
Crosby: “It’s tough, you need to be healthy. You need some bounces, and we’ve been in position to get there and haven’t found a way. So, do I look at that as a letdown? No, I don’t think we have been a failure. There are times I think we have some things we took advantage of, no doubt. You know, I look at ‘08, we were in the Finals; ’09, we win; 2010, we were playing really well, probably deserved a lot better in that series with Montreal, but a goalie steals the series. If we win that series, who knows what happens.”
What has happened recently is change, and lots of it. This off-season, Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford has shuffled the roster for the second straight year, the big acquisition Phil Kessel.
Pompeani: “How excited are you about Phil Kessel?”
Crosby: “Really excited. I think people are gonna enjoy the way he plays. He plays with a lot of speed, and I think with our team, the offense and the ability to make plays is there. So, he should fit in quite nicely there.”READ MORE: Live Winter Storm Tracker: Snow Now Expected To Reach 6-12 Inches In Pittsburgh
Pompeani: “And he really hasn’t had anyone quite like you right?”
Crosby: “I think whether it’s me or Geno who play with him, he’s definitely gonna have some room out there. If teams start to overplay him, then that’s gonna give us more room out there and were not gonna complain about that either.”
Crosby could complain about being medically cheated, like Mario Lemieux, he has lost some career time with concussions and a broken jaw.
Pompeani: “Have you ever felt medically cheated? I know Mario Lemieux did as he lost about four years of his career life with injuries. You have lost a few.”
Crosby: “I know. That year I got the concussion in the Winter Classic, you know, it’s still kind of frustrating looking back. That was the best I have felt in the NHL up to that point. So, that happens, that’s life, sometimes you can’t dwell on that.”
Pompeani: “Ten years in the books, what are your goals and expectations for the next 10?”
Crosby: “Win. You know. I don’t look at it for the next 10. I look at it just as this upcoming season. It’s tough, the game’s not getting any slower and it’s not getting any easier. So, I love that, I love the challenge that comes with that.”
The NHL has a challenge when it comes to increase scoring. Last year, goal scoring was drastically down, and Crosby believes one way to change that is to change goalie equipment, which he says is too big.
Crosby: “Flower [Marc-Andre Fleury] isn’t gonna be happy with me saying that, but absolutely. In a heartbeat, I would make that a little smaller because the goalies are so athletic, and I feel they can make equipment now that’s not gonna sacrifice and get guys injured and stuff like that.”MORE NEWS: PHOTO GALLERY: Winter Storm System Moves Into Pittsburgh Area