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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Crosby, Canada's Captain by @ChicksDigHockey

Sidney Crosby has been named Captain for Team Canada.

 I was so proud when I read that news. At 26, he leads the league in scoring (68 points: 25 goals, 43 assists) and is so deserving. I immediately thought, “I need that jersey.” Then it hit me…..I’m not Canadian. How can I have such pride in and be so excited for Canada’s choice to captain their Olympic team? I am, after all, an American girl…(cue Tom Petty)

The answer is simple, I love Sidney Crosby. What’s not to love? He’s such a good captain for the Penguins; the youngest captain in NHL history when he got the “C’’ for the Penguins 6½ years ago. Who can forget the moment he raised the Stanley Cup in ’09 triumph as the Pens’ captain? Mouth wide open in that classic “I’m really happy” Crosby look.

 I have a confession to make, I screamed really loud when Crosby shot that puck past Ryan Miller in the last Olympics to win the gold. I feel comfortable saying that now because I believe the statute of limitations is up on being considered ‘un-American’.

 Being named the Captain of your nation’s hockey team is a distinct honor. As the game's highest-profile player, Crosby is used to handling the demands that come with being captain of the Canadian team and the attention that will follow him to Russia. Scott Niedermayer, captain of the Canadian team in 2010, said this of Crosby’s selection "He's very mature. He was probably ready when he was 16. He was probably ready in 2010, and the thinking was he's going to have enough pressure on him just from who he is and things like that that he doesn't need one more thing to worry about, give it to some old guy that's just trying to figure things out out there. I'm sure he would do very well."

When asked how he felt about the appointment, Crosby replied "It's definitely a huge honor....I think playing for Team Canada and playing in the Olympics is a great opportunity, but being able to be named the captain, I think, is definitely an honor. I don't think it changes a whole lot," Crosby said on the differences between wearing a 'C' and an 'A.' "I think there are lots of really good leaders there, lots of guys with a lot of experience. A short-term event like that I think you just want to come together quickly as a team and make sure that we're all on the same page."

Many have argued that the C belonged to Jonathan Toews who out performed Crosby in 2010 and has since captained two Stanley Cup winning Blackhawk teams. In the end, this was a pretty straight-forward decision for Hockey Canada, given that Crosby scored the golden goal in overtime against the United States at the Vancouver Olympics four years ago. Toews, along with Shea Weber will serve as the alternate captains.

“Sidney, Jonathan and Shea have been leaders on the international stage in the past, as well as with their NHL teams,” Mike Babcock, head coach of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team said in a statement. “These three players will be at the forefront of our efforts in Sochi, but we are confident we have 25 players on our roster that will lead in their own way and allow our team to be successful."

The only question that remains to be answered, it would seem, is who plays on Crosby’s line? I would say to Babcock….don’t blink, don’t think; it has to be Chris Kunitz. The chemistry is already there but Kunitz brings forechecking ability, great hands and hockey smarts to the table as well. Both Steven Stamkos and John Tavares are centers but I’d take either on Crosby’s right. Stamkos will be coming off of his tibial fracture and hopefully his skating will be up to speed but his shot wasn’t fractured. Tavares may not have the shot of Stamkos but he’s a smart player with good wheels and a good hockey brain.

The United States has yet to announce its captain, though general manager David Poile singled out Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Dustin Brown, Ryan Callahan and David Backes as leaders. Russia has already picked Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings as captain. It's Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins for Slovakia and Tomas Plekanec of the Montreal Canadiens for the Czech Republic. 


  1. props on using "statute" instead of "statue" as a lot of people do

  2. Even if the "statute" has expired, I had a different feeling, seeing how Buffalo is my second favorite team (it's a student and area thing) :) Great article, as usual, Liz! Go USA!!!


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