Sidney Crosby sat down with Sportsnet's Tim and Sid at NHL Media Day in Chicago.
One of the first things Crosby was asked about was the Phil Kessel trade.
"I haven't played with anyone like Phil and I probably won't ever play with anyone like Phil," Crosby said. "He was a lot of fun to be around, obviously we all know his personality and that kind of thing. It's not going to be easy to replace him. He was a big part of us winning two Stanley Cups. Every year he always produced and found ways. I think that's hard to replace, but at the same time you know when you lose there's always consequences and things happen, and that's part of it. Unfortunately that's the way it shapes out. But he was great to be around, they're going to love him in Arizona."
Crosby went on to praise Kessel's abilities on the ice, calling him "a pretty amazing hockey player."
Crosby was then asked about the Penguins' first-round sweep by the Islanders.
"I said this many times, but you give the Islanders credit," he said. "They did exactly what we expected them to do, and what made them successful all year. They found ways to just score that timely goal, play well defensively and wait for teams to make mistakes. I think on the flip side if you look at it, we beat ourselves in a way. We made those mistakes that weren't necessarily forced by them. They were ones that were kind of self-inflicted a bit, and that hurts, when you lose a playoff series and you feel like you beat yourself a little bit. It hurts, but you also know that that's what they try to get you to do, and we fell into that trap. I give them credit, they capitalized and found a way to make pretty easy work of us in four games. That's not something that sits well, but it happens and you have to learn from it."
On his offseason workouts, Crosby said his biggest focus was just trying to stay fast.
When asked how long Crosby wants to keep playing, he said "at least seven more years." That would make him 39, and be one year past his current contract. He then added that he wants to play as long as he can.
"It's one of those questions that I think when you're younger, you don't really think about it a whole lot," he said. "But I think as you get older, some of the guys I'm really close with, I see them start to retire. Chris Kunitz, he retired this year. You start to think about all of it more, it goes through your mind. As long as I can play, I love the game. I love competing and hope that I can play for a long time."
Crosby spoke about his upcoming jersey retirement ceremony in Rimouski, saying "it's going to be great, I'm really excited about it. It's going to be pretty emotional."
Crosby said that there's been talk of retiring his No. 87 in Rimouski in years past, but it never quite worked out schedule-wise. The Penguins have an off day on the day of the ceremony, Sept. 27.
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