Happy Birthday to Penguins’ captain Sidney Crosby, who turns 31 today and makes us all feel very old in the process. It seems like just yesterday he was a baby faced 18-year-old beginning his rookie season in the NHL. In just a few short weeks, Crosby will embark on his 14th season as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Here’s a brief look at everything Crosby has accomplished at just 31 years of age:
- 3x Stanley Cup champion
- 2x Conn Smythe Trophy winner
- 2x Hart Trophy winner
- 2x Art Ross Trophy winner
- 2x “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner
- 3x Ted Lindsay Trophy winner
- 4x NHL First Team All-Star
- 7x NHL All-Star
- 7x Penguins MVP Award
- 2x Olympic Gold Medalist
- World Junior champion
- IIHF World Championship winner
- World Cup of Hockey champion
- 3x Dapper Dan Sportsman of the Year
- 8x ESPY Award winner
- Emmy Award winner
- Member of the “Triple Gold” club
It’s safe to say Sid has done a lot in only 31 years, and I think I speak for all Penguins fans when I say we are certainly glad he’s our captain. Hopefully he can add a few more items to that already long list before he hangs up the skates for good.
Of course, all awards above are great and have help build this unprecedented era of Penguins, but watching Crosby work on the ice is a truly special experience in of itself. Before we wrap this up, let’s take a look at some of Crosby’s best moments in a Penguins uniform.
First NHL Goal
You always remember your first, and I’m certain Sid still remembers his first career goal all the way back in 2005 in just his second-career game.
Shootout Goal vs. Canadiens
The 2005-2006 version of the Penguins wasn’t good, but Crosby was a very bright spot on an otherwise wasted year. One of his signature moments was this shootout goal against his boyhood side Montreal Canadiens.
Overtime Winner Against Flyers
It’s unfortunate this game led to Crosby being labeled as a diver for the rest of his career, but it did mark the beginning of a rather successful career against the Penguins’ cross-state rival.
Snow Globe Shootout Winner
When the NHL came up with the idea for outdoor hockey games, you have to imagine this was the dream scenario. Having the game’s biggest name delivering in the biggest possible way in front of a national audience as snow hell from the heavens in Buffalo.
Dueling Hat Tricks
Billed as rivals since entering the league, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin met in the playoffs for the first time in 2009. It was a seven-game thriller that the Pens won, but may be best remembered for the dueling hat tricks by Crosby and Ovechkin in Game 2.
First Stanley Cup Triumph
A year after coming so close to victory, the Penguins finished off Red Wings in Game 7 in Detroit to capture the third Stanley Cup in franchise history and the first of the Crosby era.
Golden Goal in Vancouver
American fans avert your eyes. Crosby etched his name in Canadian sports lore with the golden goal over the United States to win ice hockey goal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Crosby Scores 51 Goals
2010 was very good to Sidney Crosby both internationally and with the Penguins. On top of wining the gold medal for Canada, Crosby topped 50 goals for the first time in his career to split the “Rocket” Richard trophy with Steven Stamkos.
Concussion Comeback Goal
Following his golden goal in 2010, Crosby took his game to another level and cemented himself as the best player in the world. He was playing at a historic pace the following season before it was derailed due to a concussion. It took almost a year for Crosby to return to the ice, but when he did, it looked like he never left.
Crosby Wins Second Hart Trophy
Three years after having his career derailed due to concussions, Crosby returned to the top of his game to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer and was awarded his second Hart Trophy as league MVP.
A Return to the Mountain Top
Just when it seemed like the Penguins may never win another Stanley Cup during this Crosby era, they come through in 2016 to deliver the franchise its fourth Stanley Cup title. Crosby takes home his first Conn Smythe as playoff MVP.
You have to be very good to score 1,000 points in the NHL, and Crosby is pretty great at the whole hockey thing. He reached the milestone in 2017 with an assist to Chris Kunitz against the Winnipeg Jets.
Returning to Heinz Field with a Goal
A little over six years since that fateful night at Heinz Field that resulted in a career altering concussion, Sidney Crosby returned and erased that memory with a better one.
Another “Rocket” Richard
The run of success Crosby enjoyed beginning in 2016 was filled with both individual and team awards. As the Pens defended their Stanley Cup title, Crosby led the league in goals for the second time in his career.
Back-to-Back and Another Conn Smythe
Winning the Stanley Cup is hard enough, but winning in back-to-back seasons seemed like a thing of past until the Penguins were able to accomplish the feat in 2017. Crosby took home his second-straight Conn Smythe.
Making the Hard Look Easy
Since scoring off the ice is too easy for Crosby, he ratcheted the difficulty up a few notches and decided to start scoring goals out of mid-air instead. His goal against the Canadiens was just one of many he scored in the latter part of last season.
Phew! Recalling all of those accomplishments was quite exhausting. It’s hard to believe Sid is already 31 and about to begin his 14th season in the NHL. Let’s hope we can add a few more highlights to this list next year when the captain is celebrating his 32nd birthday.
Happy Birthday, Sid. Here’s to many more great memories in a Penguins uniform.