Player Profile: Sidney Crosby

Photo Credit: NHL.com

On July 30, 2005, in the NHL Entry Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins selected center Sidney Crosby as their first overall pick. He was recognized early on as an extraordinary talent with the potential to make a major impact in the NHL, a prediction that he has certainly fulfilled.

Even Wayne Gretzky himself declared Crosby to be among the best, stating that Crosby consistently demonstrates that he is an elite player in today’s game. It appears that the higher the stakes, the more significant of an impact Crosby has had on the outcome.

Early Days

Sidney Crosby, also known early on as “Sid the Kid,” was born on August 7, 1987, in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. At the age of two, he would shoot pucks into the net, occasionally hitting the dryer if he missed. This led some to believe that he intentionally aimed at the dryer.

From the age of 12 to 15, Crosby was enrolled at Astral Drive Junior High School where he excelled academically, maintaining straight-A grades. Described by the vice-principal as an exceptional role model, he was known for his kindness to his fellow students.

Sidney Crosby later transferred and spent a year at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, a renowned preparatory school in Minnesota, before playing two seasons with Rimouski in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. During both seasons, he topped the league in scoring and played a key role in Rimouski’s journey to the Memorial Cup Final in 2005.

In 2019, the Rimouski Océanic paid tribute to Crosby by retiring his jersey number (#87). Additionally, the QMJHL followed suit by retiring the number across all its teams.

Pre-Draft Analysis

If you were to review the Central Scouting report on Sidney Crosby again today you would immediately notice a standout feature. The report has all but predicted Crosby’s evolution as a player with stunning precision. It portrayed him as a skilled skater with exceptional balance and agility, quick with the puck, speedy on breakaways, and incredibly challenging to defend against.

His vision and hockey sense was described as “unparalleled,” a statement that continues to ring true for Crosby to this day. Sidney Crosby is among the best in the game but above all else he is a team player. He is considered among the most elite of players to ever play the game.

“I promise to play for the logo on the front, not the name on the back.”

– Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby Stats & Salary Cap

NHL Career Start

During Crosby’s first year in the league, the Penguins faced a challenging season in spite of the recruitment of several experienced players to help complement Lemieux and Crosby. Despite these additions, the team found it difficult to find their groove. Lemieux, having been dealing with a heart condition, later made the decision to retire once again. Crosby, rising to the challenge, excelled with an impressive total of 102 points, making him the youngest player at the time to reach this milestone in a single season. By the end of the season, he had scored 39 goals and provided 63 assists.

Crosby, at the age of 19, was appointed as the captain of the Penguins on May 31, 2007. Despite being limited by injuries to only 53 games in the 2007-08 season and seeing a decrease in points to 72 (24 goals, 48 assists), he led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1992, although they were later defeated by the Detroit Red Wings. He would later become the youngest player in NHL history to win the Art Ross Trophy and the youngest scoring champion in any major North American professional sport.

In 2009, the Penguins returned to the Cup Final and managed to beat the Red Wings in a thrilling seven-game series. At the young age of 21, Crosby made history by becoming the youngest captain to lead a team to victory in the NHL.

During the 2009-10 season, Crosby led the NHL in goals with 51, and he accomplished the same in the 2016-17 season with 44 goals. Additionally, Crosby secured his second scoring title in the 2013-14 season by amassing 104 points.

In the 2015-16 season, Crosby participated in 80 games, secured a place on the NHL First-All-Star Team, and claimed the Conn Smythe Trophy, contributing to the Penguins’ successful Stanley Cup victory that year. The Penguins achieved this feat once again in 2017, with Crosby becoming one of just three players to clinch the Conn Smythe in back-to-back seasons. By this time, he had established himself as one of the NHL’s most versatile players. In January 2017, Crosby was honored once more as one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players.

International Career

Crosby’s success has also extended to the international hockey arena. He scored the gold medal-winning goal, the “Golden Goal”, for Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and was instrumental in Canada’s consecutive victories at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Sidney Crosby’s golden goal lifts Canada in epic 2010 gold medal final | NBC Sports

Additionally, he was recognized as the Most Valuable Player at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey for his outstanding performance, emerging as the top scorer in the competition. Serving as Team Canada’s captain, he led the tournament with three goals and 10 points in six games, driving a highly effective top line alongside Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.

He has been selected for the NHL 4 Nations Faceoff team by Hockey Canada, and it is expected that he will later compete for his home country in the 2026 Olympics.

Career Milestones

Sidney Crosby accomplished numerous significant milestones throughout his hockey tenure. One notable achievement was when he scored 30 goals for the Penguins during his 11th season, a feat that saw him equal Mario Lemieux’s record. Another momentous occasion occurred on February 15, 2022, when Crosby netted his 500th career goal on a power play versus the Philadelphia Flyers. This accomplishment positioned him as the 46th player in NHL history to reach the 500-goal mark and the 18th to achieve this milestone while playing exclusively for one team. Crosby joined the esteemed ranks of players who have scored 500 goals for a single team, becoming only the second Penguin to do so after Mario Lemieux.

Crosby reached another significant milestone by being only the second active NHL player, joining Washington Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin, to score 500 goals. This impressive achievement was realized when he scored against Philadelphia Flyers’ goalie Carter Hart in the first period of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ exciting 5-4 overtime win at PPG Paints Arena on February 15, 2022.

Another impressive milestone was reached by Crosby a few months later when the Penguins’ triumph over the Nashville Predators on April 10, 2022. In that game, Crosby notched two goals, with one being the game-winner in overtime, and he also contributed an assist to surpass 1,400 NHL points. He became just the 22nd player in NHL history to achieve this feat and joins the ranks of Joe Thornton and Alex Ovechkin in reaching this milestone. He notably became the seventh-fastest player to accomplish this, following legends Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Dionne, Esposito, Jaromír Jágr, and Steve Yzerman.

In Game 4 of the 2022 Eastern Conference First Round, Crosby provided an assist on Jake Guentzel’s goal at 3:38 of the second period, marking his 200th point in the NHL postseason. This achievement placed him again in the company of NHL legends Gretzky (382), Mark Messier (295), Jari Kurri (233), Glenn Anderson (214), and Jaromír Jágr (201), making him the sixth NHL player to reach this milestone.

Also in 2022, Sidney Crosby was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada, the second-highest civilian honor for merit in the country. The Governor General made the appointment, citing Crosby’s achievements as one of the greatest hockey players of all time and his support for youth community initiatives.

On April 8, 2023 Crosby registered his 1500th career point in a 5–1 win against the Detroit Red Wings, the fifteenth NHL player to hit that milestone, and in the sixth-fewest games. Crosby clinched his 19th season averaging a point per game, tying Gretzky’s record. Having 1,000 assists, Crosby became the seventh player to do so with one team. Only Wayne Gretzky (645), Mario Lemieux (856), Paul Coffey (1,105), Adam Oates (1,174), Ron Francis (1,235), and Marcel Dionne (1,259) accomplished this feat in fewer games.


In March 2024, Crosby scored his 35th goal of the season. This accomplishment made him the first active player and the 14th player in NHL history to have 15 or more 40-assist seasons. Additionally, he marked his 239th career multi-assist game during this time, surpassing Joe Thornton to claim the 10th spot in NHL history.

In a 5-2 victory against the New York Rangers on April 1, 2024, Crosby secured three points, solidifying his 19th season with an average of at least one point per game. This achievement tied him with Gretzky for the most in NHL history.

Additionally, he reached a milestone by earning his 1,000th NHL assist when he passed to Erik Karlsson. Karlsson then scored the game-winning goal 1:40 into overtime, leading the Penguins to a 6-5 triumph over the Red Wings in Pittsburgh on April 11.

Crosby became the seventh player to achieve 1,000 assists with a single team and accomplished this feat in the seventh-fewest games in NHL history, reaching the milestone in 1,269 games. Only Gretzky (645), Lemieux (856), Paul Coffey (1,105), Adam Oates (1,174), Ron Francis (1,235), and Dionne (1,259) achieved this milestone in fewer games.

At the conclusion of the 2023-24 season, Crosby had tallied 42 goals, 52 assists for 94 points and a plus/minus rating of +7. Crosby has amassed a career total of 592 goals, 1004 assists, and 1596 points in 1272 games over the past 19 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He became the first player to join the NHL’s Top-10 All-time points list since Jaromír Jágr achieved this over 16 years ago (February 2008).

The 2024-25 season will mark Sidney Crosby’s 20th season in the league.

Credit: Hockey Stats Crosby (23/24)

Awards

  • QMJHL All-Rookie Team (2004)
  • QMJHL First All-Star Team (2004, 2005)
  • QMJHL Player of the Year (2004, 2005)
  • Canadian Major Junior First All-Star Team (2004, 2005)
  • Canadian Major Junior Rookie of the Year (2004)
  • Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year (2004, 2005)
  • NHL All-Rookie Team (2006)
  • NHL First All-Star Team (2007, 2013, 2014, 2016)
  • NHL Second All-Star Team (2010, 2015, 2017, 2019)
  • Played in NHL All-Star Game (2007, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2023, 2024)
  • NHL All-Star Game MVP (2019)
  • Stanley Cup (2009, 2016, 2017)
  • Art Ross Trophy (2007, 2014)
  • Conn Smythe Trophy (2016, 2017)
  • Hart Memorial Trophy (2007, 2014)
  • Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award (2010)
  • Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (2010, 2017)
  • Ted Lindsay Award (2007, 2013, 2014)
Credit: Pittsburgh Penguins YouTube Channel (2019)

Quotes

“You’d hear about this kid who was very dominant, and every year I was supposed to play against him he’d move up, because he was that good. So I remember watching him, and he’d be playing with kids three years older, and I remember the game I watched for the first time: It was 6-1, and he had five goals and an assist. He’s always been a dominant player at every age, and you knew he was going to be a good player.” – Brad Marchand

“He’s that high-end competitor. He’s a good leader because he tries to do it right all the time. He demands a lot out of himself. In doing so, he demands a lot out of his teammates.” – Mike Babcock

“I think he’s more of a complete player… Defensively, I think he’s improved a lot over the last couple of years…That’s the biggest thing that in his game has improved, is that he can play both sides of the puck.” – Mario Lemieux

“We have so much respect for how good of a player he is, but I don’t think he’s as good as he is by accident. His work ethic is second to none. This kid comes to the rink every day. He’s the first guy on the ice. He works on his game tirelessly every single day to be the best. Right now, he certainly is playing inspiring hockey for our group.” – Mike Sullivan

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Karen Zehner

Credentialed Beat Writer covering the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. Diving into the world of slap shots, penalty kills, and the game we love. [@RunwithK] on socials.

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