Sidney Crosby turns 32 years old today.
To mark the occasion, let's take a look back at 32 of the biggest moments from his career.
1. JULY 22, 2005: Sidney Crosby Sweepstakes
The draft lottery followed a special system following the 2004-05 lockout. Since there were no previous season standings of which to base the lottery odds, the system relied upon recent playoff appearances. With the change, all 30 teams had a chance at the No. 1 overall pick.
Each team began with three lottery balls. For each playoff appearance in the previous three years or No. 1 overall pick over the previous four years, a team loses one ball. Four teams -- the Penguins, Rangers, Blue Jackets, and Sabres -- were left with all three lottery balls and therefore the highest chances, and 10 teams had two lottery balls remaining. The other 16 teams had one lottery ball.
It came down to the Penguins and Ducks for the first two selections, and the Penguins' ball was drawn for the No. 1 overall pick.
"I think he's a fantastic fit," Craig Patrick said of Crosby. "To be able to add someone of Sidney's talent, my mind goes round and round with possibilities."
2. JULY 30, 2005: Drafted No. 1 overall
Eight days after the lottery, Crosby put on the Penguins sweater for the first time.
"Obviously, I'm young," Crosby said after being drafted. "I'm going to be a rookie. Hopefully, if I get to play in Pittsburgh next year, I'll get the opportunity to learn from one of the best ... and try to be a sponge. I'm going to learn as much as I can on the ice, but off the ice there couldn't be anyone better (than Lemieux)."
3. AUGUST 11, 2005: Crosby arrives in Pittsburgh
Crosby arrived in Pittsburgh for Penguins rookie orientation not long after the draft. When asked about which area of his game he'd like to improve upon, he pointed to his 200-foot game.
"Defensive play," he said. "I think anytime you’re an offensive player it’s easy to get caught on the wrong side of the puck. I think for me just making sure that I stay in my own zone, don’t get caught. Especially in the NHL, every guy is good. Defensively, if you make a mistake the puck is going to be in your net. I'd say my defensive play is something I'd like to work on."
4. SEPTEMBER 9, 2005: Entry-level contract
Crosby signed a three-year entry-level deal that carried an average annual value of $850,000, with the chance to double that with performance bonuses.
"It's like it was back in the early '90s when we were coming to camp with a chance to win a championship every year," Patrick said of Crosby's signing.
"I feel very fortunate to be in this situation," Crosby said. "A lot of guys ... who are drafted early go to a team that's maybe rebuilding, but that's not the case here."
5. OCTOBER 5, 2005: NHL debut, first NHL point
Crosby's NHL debut was a 5-1 loss to the Devils in New Jersey. He earned his first NHL point with an assist on the Penguins' lone goal, scored by Mark Recchi in the third period.
6. OCTOBER 8, 2005: First NHL goal
Crosby scored his first NHL goal (and added two assists) in a 7-6 overtime loss to the Bruins at the Mellon Arena.
“It was exciting. It was something I have been looking forward to for a long time, so it was nice to get the first one,” Crosby said. “It’s too bad we lost. It’s great to score goals and set up guys, but I play to win.”
“It was nice to see him get that first one, which is always the toughest,” Lemieux said. “The guys were waiting to see it and were really happy for him. It took a lot of pressure off him.”
Christina Aguilera sang the national anthem before the game.
7. NOVEMBER 10, 2005: Shootout winner against Montreal
In Crosby's first game against the Canadiens, his childhood team, he scored the game-winning goal in the shootout.
“It’s amazing. It’s kind of hard to believe,” said Crosby. “It’s something that just happened. It’s fun. That’s the fun part of hockey. I am having a great time playing in this league. I feel fortunate to get the opportunity to get a shot like that. I got lucky; there wasn’t much pressure to tie it or stay in it. I had the chance to win it. It was a nice feeling.”
“He’s quite amazing,” said Lemieux. “I have said it many times – some of the things he does on the ice are amazing. He showed it again [Thursday] night. He put on a great move and won the game.”
8. NOVEMBER 16, 2005: First game against Flyers
Crosby's first game against the Flyers was a memorable one.
Playing in Philadelphia, Crosby took a high-stick to the mouth in the second period, causing him to lose teeth. He left for five minutes to get stitched up and returned to the game. He scored the Penguins' second goal of the game in the third period.
After the Flyers rallied to force overtime, Crosby scored in the final minute of the overtime period to win the game.
"If I can contribute and help out, it feels good," Crosby said. "It's nice, especially when stuff goes on."
9. DECEMBER 15, 2005: Crosby named alternate captain
The Penguins named Crosby one of the team's two alternate captains, along with Mark Recchi.
“I really believe this is a new beginning for our team,” Michel Therrien said. “He is one of our best players. I am not afraid to give him (the task) – I don’t think it’s pressure because, eventually, it’s going to be Sidney’s team."
“It’s great for the coach to show that I have that responsibility. I feel pretty honored,” Crosby said. “I take it pretty seriously. I will try to do a good job making sure I show leadership. It’s something that’s nice to have. It’s a challenge and motivates you that much more. I am more than happy to have it.”
10. APRIL 17, 2006: 100th point
Crosby tallied three assists in a 6-1 win over the Islanders to become the youngest player in NHL history to reach 100 points, a record that still stands.
“It was pretty hard not to think about it when you’re being asked that question every day. I am not going to complain. It’s nice to get it,” Crosby said. “It’s something that’s been building up for a long time. It’s something that I wanted to accomplish, but at the same time, I knew that thinking about it or getting caught up in it was probably going to hurt my focus more than help it. I just tried to go out there and have fun with it. It’s something I was well-aware of.”
11. OCTOBER 28, 2006: First NHL hat trick
Crosby scored his first NHL hat trick in an 8-2 win over the Flyers.
"It's special. It's always nice, first time anything in the NHL," Crosby said. "You never try to think about it too much, but it's always a nice milestone to have to get your first hat trick."
12. MARCH 2, 2007: 200th point
Crosby became the youngest player in NHL history to score 200 points with his 27th goal of the 2006-07 season:
13. MAY 31, 2007: Crosby named captain
Crosby was named the Penguins' captain at just 19 years old, the youngest captain in NHL history at the time.
"Sidney has done so much for this franchise in his first two seasons, made so much history, that you have to keep reminding yourself that he is only 19 years old," said Ray Shero. "It is obvious to all of us— coaches, players, management, staff— that he has grown into the acknowledged leader of the Pittsburgh Penguins. It is only appropriate that he wears the 'C' as team captain."
14. JUNE 2, 2007: First Art Ross Trophy, First Hart
With 120 points, Crosby was awarded the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer. He was the youngest scoring champion in NHL history at age 19, and the youngest scoring champion in the history of major North American professional sports.
“You want to contribute, and as an offensive player you want to do well. You want to help your team out every night,” Crosby said. “But this is just something that I think comes with hard work. If you worry about it, it’s probably not going to come your way. So my focus has always been on winning and helping my team, and this is just something that comes along with it.”
Crosby was also named the league MVP for the first time in his career.
15. JANUARY 1, 2008: First Winter Classic
Back when outdoor games were still a novelty, Crosby scored the game-winner in the shootout in the first ever Winter Classic.
“When you see 70,000 people jammed into a stadium to watch hockey, it’s a good sign,” said Crosby. “The atmosphere and environment, I don’t think you can beat that.”
16. OCTOBER 18, 2008: 100th goal, 200th assist, 300th point
Crosby, while playing on a line with Evgeni Malkin, hit three milestones in the same game.
“(Milestones) are nice,” Crosby said. “It’s not what you play for, but they’re great accomplishments.”
17. MAY 4, 2009: Dueling hat tricks
Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have always been compared to each other since coming into the league at the same time in 2005.
One of the best -- if not the best -- moments of the rivalry came in Game 2 of the second round of the 2009 playoffs, when both players scored hat tricks in the same game. The Capitals won the game, 4-3, but the Penguins would take the series in seven games.
18. JUNE 12, 2009: First Stanley Cup
Crosby, at age 21, became the youngest captain in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup:
19. FEBRUARY 28, 2010: Golden goal
Crosby beat Ryan Miller in overtime to win Olympic gold on home ice in Vancouver:
20. APRIL 11, 2010: First Richard Trophy
Crosby scored his 50th and 51st goals of the season in a 6-5 overtime win over the Islanders, tying Steven Stamkos for the league lead in the final game of the regular season.
Crosby was shooting for a hat trick and sole possession of first place, but had to settle for sharing the trophy with Stamkos.
"There's nothing wrong with scoring a goal … there's nothing wrong with wanting to do that," Crosby said. "At least I was trying not to cheat out there. I think the main thing though was we were up 5-4 at the time. We were trying to get that goal. For sure I wanted to get that next one."
21. NOVEMBER 5-DECEMBER 28, 2010: 25-game point streak
Crosby went on a 25-game point streak, the longest streak in 18 years in the NHL. His run tied for the 11th longest streak in NHL history, and the third-longest in franchise history.
Crosby recorded 50 points -- 26 goals and 24 assists -- over that stretch.
22. NOVEMBER 21, 2011: Comeback
After 320 days away from the game, Crosby made his return from a concussion in a game against the Islanders.
Just over five minutes into his comeback, Crosby scored his first goal since Dec. 28, 2010. He finished the game with two goals and two assists.
“Something I’ve been waiting for a long time,” he said.
23. MAY 3, 2013: Comeback from broken jaw
After missing more than a month with a broken jaw, Crosby made his return to the lineup in Game 2 of the Penguins' first-round matchup with the Islanders. He scored twice in his return:
Three games later, he scored a goal reminiscent of Lemieux's goal against the North Stars:
24. FEBRUARY 23, 2014: Second gold medal
Canada won gold for the second tournament in a row, defeating Sweden 3-0 in the gold medal game. Jonathan Toews, Crosby, and Chris Kunitz all scored in the win:
25. MAY 17, 2015: Triple Gold Club
Crosby and Team Canada went undefeated in the 2015 IIHF World Championship to take home the gold medal. It was the missing piece for Crosby to be in the Triple Gold Club, the group of players to win a Stanley Cup and gold in both the Olympics and World Championship.
Crosby became the ninth Canadian and 26th player overall to enter the Triple Gold Club.
"That's what we all came for, we came here to win, and obviously you've been part of different things like this, Olympics, World Juniors and all that stuff," Crosby said. "Different experiences and being able to accomplish this any time of the year, play for Team Canada, it's pretty special."
26. MAY 17, 2016: First playoff overtime goal
Crosby scored the first playoff overtime goal in his career in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final to tie the series against the Lightning, 1-1:
27. JUNE 12, 2016: Second Stanley Cup, first Conn Smythe
For the first time since 2009, Crosby and the Penguins were Stanley Cup Champions.
Crosby was named playoff MVP, winning the Conn Smythe Award for the first time in his career.
“I wasn’t really thinking about ‘09 that much, I was just thinking about how hard it was to get to this point and just trying to enjoy every second of it,” said Crosby. “It’s not easy to get here, and having won seven years ago at a young age you probably take it for granted a little bit. You don’t think you do at the time.”
28. SEPTEMBER 29, 2016: World Cup MVP
Canada defeated Team Europe, 2-1, in the return of the World Cup of Hockey. Crosby took home tournament MVP honors.
“I don’t have to look too far to think about how tough it was a year ago starting out the season,” Crosby said. “I think I appreciate this a lot.”
29. FEBRUARY 16, 2017: 1,000 points
With an assist on a first-period Kunitz goal against the Jets, Crosby became the 86th player in NHL history to score 1,000 career points:
30. APRIL 10, 2017: Second Richard Trophy
Crosby finished the 2016-17 NHL season with 44 goals to capture his second Richard Trophy. He became the fifth player to win the award multiple times after it was first presented in 1998-99.
31. JUNE 11, 2017: Third Stanley Cup, second Conn Smythe
The Penguins repeated as Stanley Cup Champions to win the franchise's fifth Cup. It was the third for Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz (his fourth overall), Kris Letang, and Marc-Andre Fleury.
Crosby won the Conn Smythe for the second year in a row.
"I would have to believe that with what Sid has been able to accomplish in his career to this point would put him in the company of the all-time greats," said Mike Sullivan. "You know, he's arguably the best player of his generation, and he's a guy that just knows how to win. And so he's done it in all different venues, whether it be the NHL and Stanley Cups to the World Cup to the Olympics."
32. JANUARY 26, 2019: All-Star MVP
In his eighth career All-Star appearance, Crosby finally took home All-Star MVP honors with four goals and four assists in the Metropolitan Division's tournament victory.
— NHL (@NHL) January 27, 2019
To continue reading, log into your account: