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Things we learned from the Sidney Crosby interview on Spittin Chiclets

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A relaxed Crosby shoots the breeze with his buddies and the result is his best interview

NHL: MAR 19 Panthers at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As part of national Sidney Crosby day 8/7, the gang at Spittin’ Chiclets landed an interview with the man himself. (Sid starts at about the 49 minute mark and, if you didn’t know, a NSFW warning for language and some crude talk).

It’s about an hour long and definitely the best Crosby interview ever. He’s very relaxed by being around his buddies (former teammates Ryan Whitney and Paul Bissonnette) and is able to have a great time and share lots of stories from over the years and tell a lot of tales that don’t typically get out there.

Things we learned:

  • Has watched The Replacements “about 5,000 times” according to Ryan Whitney
  • Was at home when the Penguins won the 2005 draft lottery
  • Didn’t know much about Pittsburgh when they got the first pick, but mentioned knowing Dan Potash from a flight randomly and also Eddie Johnston.
  • Tried not to make it to 100 PIMs in his rookie year but couldn’t help it. Mentioned it was from “a lot of 10’s” and being tough on refs.
  • Said his relationship with Alex Ovechkin is “pretty much on the ice” with “some good moments and bad moments” but knows it’s just from competition. Mentions it’s an easy storyline for the media to build up a Canadian kid versus a Russian kid.
  • Mentioned how it was tough to win in ‘09 and not have friends like Whitney, Colby Armstrong, Ryan Malone around to “play together forever” like they all thought in the beginning.
  • Tore his MCL in Game 7 vs Detroit in 2009 when getting hit by Johan Franzen. Got his knee frozen and came back but knew after playing one shift he couldn’t keep up and didn’t want to cost the team the game.
  • Scored a hat trick in Philly after eating at Italian restaurant Maggiano’s and had to keep going back for years to come even though it was a very heavy (but good) meal.
  • Whitney and Georges Laraque would have hundreds of dollars in bets on the line during game warmups on different shooting challenges to each other. Whitney and Laraque had the whole team “including Therrien” out to watch them race in practice with another large amount of money on the line.
  • Crosby wasn’t worried about switching goalies in 2017 from Marc-Andre Fleury to Matt Murray during the EC Finals. Praised Fleury for not making it a distraction for the team.
  • The most unexpected and best part of winning the Stanley Cup was “what happens afterwards” for so many people being a part of the celebration.
  • Was only supposed to live at Mario Lemieux’s house for a year. “Very normal family, got normal pretty quick”. The Lemieux family convinced Crosby to get a puppy weeks after moving in (still has him as 14 year old dog Sam). Sam pooped while Sid was away, Sid was trying to find it but Mario found it first and cleaned it up, Crosby marveled at it being surreal Mario Lemieux was cleaning up after his dog.
  • Mario once texted Sid “hey kid, way to take a small bite out of the Big Apple” after a big game in NYC.
  • Got chirped by Bill Guerin the first time he walked in the locker-room. Sid loved it. Likes when teammates taunt him a bit, admits now younger guys don’t do it as much compared to his peers and older guys.
  • Sid was irritated by P.K. Subban’s antics in the 2017 Cup final. Subban was going after Jake Guentzel and Crosby stepped in, said Subban’s post-game comments were nothing like what happened. Crosby was annoyed to have to answer the questions, called it mind games, but has nothing against Subban.
  • Whitney bet Max Talbot that Crosby would never score 50 goals. That bet got back to Crosby (through either Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry) and Sid told Whitney at the 2010 Olympics “nice bet”. Scored 50 goals that season.
  • Crosby had a two-piece stick with a wood blade when he broke into the league. Would work on the blades, bend the wood to get it how he liked it. Finally around 2010 he had to switch to a one-piece stick because they stopped making the old sticks. Admits he probably wouldn’t have switched to the one-piece stick if they never stopped making the old sticks.
  • Still using same cup, since midget. Said that’s probably the worst part of Dana Heinze’s job to have to maintain it.
  • Called speed the biggest current weakness in his game due to age. Trying to “slow the process down” to keep up with the younger players through his training.
  • Liked Shattuck St Mary’s for the good education and having the opportunity to be on the ice every day. Mentioned he considered staying and being able to go to college, cited that the University of North Dakota was the school he would have been looking at.
  • Got hit by a pitch in his last baseball game (at Shattuck). Other team was talking trash. Jack Johnson was on base and pitcher was throwing in at both Sid and JJ all game. Crosby gets plunked and Johnson charges the mound. Johnson dropped the pitcher and first baseman, Crosby grabbed the catcher so he couldn’t get involved. Both got suspended for the rest of the season.
  • Crosby had to get ushered in a back door into classrooms to take exams in junior and realized that life wasn’t very normal.
  • Doesn’t have a big social media presence because he feels comfortable that way. His hockey gets scrutinized so much so “when it’s comes to my personal life I just liked having that for me”.
  • Crosby has never found a pair of jeans in the store that fits him. Called his thighs “genetics”.
  • Was happy to be in consideration for 2006 Olympic team, says he wasn’t upset at all to not be named. Ended up back going to Rimouski during that break and skated with his old junior team.
  • Mentioned Canada struggled to find right combinations in 2010 Olympics. Sid said he remembers the feeling of Zach Parise scoring the game-tying goal for the US late in the 3rd period more than his OT goal. Crosby says Scott Niedermayer was very calm, cool and collected in the room as they prepped for OT.
  • Said his 2010 golden goal is similar to a drill he did for just firing pucks suddenly at weird angles, admits most times he would try to take the puck to the net but just decided to shoot. Had fun after 2010 with all the athletes after winning the gold.
  • Never felt like he was better than all the other kids as a youngster because he was playing against kids 2-3 years older and was pushed to keep working hard to keep up with them.
  • Crosby and Joe Vitale had a routine/superstition where he would tell Vitale the exact same story in the locker-room before every game and kept having good games. Both realized that Crosby would keep repeating the exact same story (about 10 times) but it went unspoken as to why it was still happening.
  • Crosby says Armstrong is responsible for most of his superstitions by creating stupid games like trying to throw bottles into trash cans prior to games in order to ensure a good game.
  • When Sid was 14 someone threw a golf club and gave it to him (a wedge with an illegal angle face). He called the club “the Spin Doctor” because he could control just where the ball would stop. Kept that club in his bag ever since, brought it out at Oakmont recently and made Nathan MacKinnon mad when Sid used “the Doctor” to make an unreal shot out of the rough, but hasn’t used it since.
  • Had landscaping jobs outside of hockey as a kid, but liked when he worked summer hockey camps more.
  • Knew the contract max was about $10 million per year when he signed his contract, and was willing to sign for a little less. But also knew that one guy taking less doesn’t mean much if others don’t, so he praised Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang for taking a little less, as well as Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis.
  • Was fast friends with Whitney when they first met, loved how he was carving people up from teammates to random people on the street. Crosby praised Whitney for his “same side one-timer” play where he would cut into net on the power play. Mike Yeo helped identify this would work and fed Whitney passes to get better at it.

Plenty of more stories about the gang, always great to hear Crosby and this was a unique interview with some friends and dropping the traditional vanilla answers to be relaxed enough to give a peak behind the curtain.