The first time I wrote about Sidney Crosby was October 6, 2003. He was tearing it up with the Rimouski Oceanic as a 16-year old and I had just read a quote from Wayne Gretzky claiming he was the most talented prospect he'd seen since Mario Lemieux. That got my attention.
I closed that entry with "No pressure...." After all, he was only sixteen, and all hockey eyes were affixed upon The Next One. The Leafs had a 1.92% chance of drafting Crosby, but Pittsburgh won the lottery. I remember being relieved that it wasn't a team I disliked. In fact, thanks to Mario, I actually liked the Penguins.
Sidney Crosby is now 29 years old. Last night, I watched him win the Stanley Cup for the third time. He won the Conn Smythe trophy for the second year in a row. Along with his three cups, he's won two Olympic Gold medals, a World Cup and even a World Championship. The World Championship might not mean a whole lot, but it makes him the only person to captain a team to gold in the big three tournaments. All Sid does is win.
And by all accounts, Sid's work ethic is second-to-none. He trains and competes harder than anyone else on the ice, despite being the most talented player in the world. In my opinion, Wayne Gretzky was exactly right. Crosby is the best player since Lemieux.
And I still think he's underrated.