After being drafted first overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005, Sidney Crosby quickly took over the NHL with his generational talent and is arguably the best player in the game today. Crosby recently surpassed the 1000-point plateau in his 757th game which is the 12th fastest in NHL history, despite missing many games due to injuries. The success that Crosby has already achieved in his career is no match for any player in the league right now.
While he's achieved so much, there is no doubt that Crosby has generated a lot of hate in the league as well. Whether it be fans or players, Crosby has managed to get under the skin of many, one way or another. Love him or hate him, he is certainly paving his way to becoming one of the greatest players to ever play the game of hockey.
Since becoming a pro, Crosby has become the new face of hockey and is a role model for many kids who dream of playing in the NHL. Many fans might think they know everything about Crosby because he gets the most publicity from the league, but there are some surprising facts about number 87 that most people probably don't know about or that the NHL would not talk about. Luckily for you, those facts will be revealed below. What you think about these facts all depends on what you feel about Sidney Crosby. Here are 15 things the NHL doesn't want you knowing about Sidney Crosby.
15 He Loves Junk Food
It's surprising to know that one of the most jacked NHLers isn't a huge fan of healthy eating. Crosby has admitted a few times that he likes his fair share of sweets and always enjoys a cheat meal. His most favorite cheat meals consist of fast food, pizza, cake, and donuts.
Sid will have to fight off his cravings as much as he can if he wants to stay in the best shape possible for the rest of his career. He seems to be just fine as he's had an excellent season so far and is near the top in the NHL scoring race.
14 He Doesn't Want To Coach In The NHL
The NHL has seen several players return after retirement and be hired as coaches, general managers or in other positions. Some succeed, but not always. A perfect example would be Wayne Gretzky, the greatest player of all-time, getting hired as the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes and fail miserably for four seasons.
Despite wanting to be involved in hockey after his retirement, Crosby has mentioned that he wouldn't want to be involved in the business side of the game, including coaching. If Crosby were to return to the NHL post-career then he would prefer to be involved in the developmental side of the game. He can always change his mind but for now this is where we can expect to see Sidney Crosby after he retires.
13 He Doesn't Live An Expensive Lifestyle
Sometimes money can get to a professional sports player's head and even ruin their careers. Many of them overspend on useless items for the sole purpose of being able to. That isn't the case for the Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia native Sidney Crosby. His actions and the way he carries himself off the ice doesn't resemble that of a superstar sports player, but resembles more of the same kid that came out of his hometown Cole Harbour.
Whether you like Crosby or not, you have to respect the fact that he's remained a very humble human being given all of his success. He constantly visits his hometown and wants to be known as the guy who gives back to his community by being involved in charity and opening a hockey school for kids. You won't find Crosby dressed in the fanciest of clothes either, you'll mostly find him wearing athletic gear and a cap. His off-ice actions towards his home community are truly one of his biggest accomplishments outside of sports.
12 He Grew Up A Habs Fan
While growing up in Nova Scotia, Sidney Crosby cheered for the Montreal Canadiens. You couldn't tell that he lived far away from the team he supported when walking into his room filled with Habs merchandise. He still has a poster of his favorite player Kirk Muller up in his room.
It was his father, Troy Crosby, who introduced Sidney to the NHL's most storied franchise at a young age before he became a huge fan of the Canadiens. Troy Crosby had also been drafted by the Canadiens in the 12th round of the 1984 NHL draft but never made the NHL. Sidney himself came very close to being drafted by his childhood team in his 2005 draft year, but the Canadiens ended up getting the fifth overall pick in the draft lottery.
11 His Olympic Play Has Been Disappointing
Elite sports players that go through struggles always end up getting bombarded with questions about their play at some point and there's no way to avoid it, especially if you're Sidney Crosby. He received a similar kind of attention in the past two Olympics when his production was weaker than many had expected.
There's no doubt that regardless of his disappointing efforts at the Olympics, his gold medal winning goal at the 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver is one of the biggest goals in Canadian hockey history. However, on a dominant Canadian team that has been capable of steamrolling weaker opponents, Crosby's stats are weaker than they probably should be. He did end up putting up a respectable seven points in seven games in the 2010 tournament, but had just one goal and three points in six games at the most recent 2014 tournament.
You can definitely argue that Crosby did everything else that doesn't appear on the score sheet, such as being good defensively and making smart plays, but on the biggest stage, I'm sure fans would like to see him put on a show offensively.
10 He Whines
Although he may seem like the most professional of professionals off the ice, Sidney Crosby has had his moments where he hasn't kept his cool. Over his career, Crosby has developed the reputation of being a whiner on the ice, which doesn't set a great example for many young hockey players who idolize Crosby. There have been times where his opponents have been able to get in the mind of the Penguins' captain and get him off his game.
Crosby usually can be found whining the most when crucial games aren't going in his favor. There have been times where Crosby's frustration has gotten the best of him in the playoffs against teams such as the Flyers, Capitals and Canadiens. Whether it be the ref not making a call, or going through a scoring drought, Crosby has been easily frustrated in the past and teams will definitely be trying to get under his skin when they face the Penguins in the playoffs in the future.
9 He's Not A Very Good Actor
Being the face of the NHL comes with having many companies approach you to shoot commercials to promote the league and attract more customers to the company. Sidney Crosby has appeared in several commercials since joining the league back in 2005, and let's just say he's not as good of an actor as he is a hockey player.
Crosby's most recent commercial was done with fellow NHLer Nathan Mackinnon for Tim Hortons, where the two players volunteer for a day at a Tim Hortons in their hometown of Cole Harbour to serve customers at the drive thru. In his older commercials, you'll notice Sid lacking a bit of emotion which shows he's just not made for acting. Luckily that isn't his choice of career.
8 Dirty Player?
There have been surprising instances where we have seen the league's best player show a more dirtier side to his game. The worst part about this is that Crosby doesn't get the punishment he deserves from the league or the officials because, let's face it, when you're the face of the NHL, the league wants to keep you on the ice as much as possible.
There have been some occasions where Crosby has committed some offences that would probably have gotten him suspended if he wasn't Sidney Crosby. Back in 2012, Flyers assistant coach Craig Berube called Crosby and fellow teammate Evgeni Malkin the two dirtiest players on the Penguins hockey team because of their cheap slashes and punches.
Crosby has made some dirty plays starting from a cheap shot to the head of Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Boris Valabik, to slew footing Ryan Callahan, and just recently spearing Ryan O'Reilly in the jewels and nearly slashing off Marc Methot's finger. None of these resulted in supplementary discipline or even a fine for the league's star forward. It might be time to start keeping an eye on number 87's actions.
7 He's Injury Prone
Since starting his NHL career in the 2005-06 season, Sidney Crosby hasn't played in a full 82-game season once. In his first two seasons, he only missed one and three games, but the serious injuries began to occur during the 2007-08 season where Crosby suffered a sprained ankle in January of 2008. He missed almost 30 games during that season, but came back healthy the next two seasons only missing a total of six games.
The more serious injuries started coming when Crosby took a hit to the head from David Steckel on January 1st, 2011. He managed to return in the Penguins' next game, but was hit solidly into the boards by Tampa's Victor Hedman and missed the rest of the season with concussion-like symptoms. Crosby only played in 58 games in the next two seasons after being injured two more times. Since that horrible stretch of three season with terrible health luck, Crosby has played in almost every game each season. Most recently, he was diagnosed with a minor concussion at the beginning of the 2016-17 season which was believed to have occurred in practice. He missed six games and has been healthy since.
6 He's Been Accused Of Diving
Being the best player comes with being on the radar of every team that you play against. Sidney Crosby probably gets hacked and whacked more than anyone in this league because teams are trying to slow him down. Many fans and some opponents have chirped Crosby about it, calling him a diver, and its become a universal term that fans have used to criticize Crosby, along with calling him a cry baby.
You can't blame them when there is some actual evidence, though. Take a look at the 2009 Winter Classic, where Crosby was "tripped," yet it appears as though he flops to the ground. He got called out by some Blackhawks players, including their captain Jonathan Toews. Crosby has also been caught diving a couple times in games against the Montreal Canadiens, including in their playoff series back in 2010.
5 He Was Almost Drafted By Anaheim
The 2005 NHL Draft was a unique one because it came after the 2004-05 lockout season. Not only that, the team that would win the draft lottery would be getting a generational player in Sidney Crosby. Since there was no hockey that year, the draft lottery was determined by assigning the 30 teams 1-3 lottery balls based on their number of playoff appearances and first overall picks in the last three years.
As each spot got revealed, it came down to Pittsburgh and Anaheim for the first overall pick. As we all know, Pittsburgh was the lucky winner and Anaheim ended up second, selecting Bobby Ryan who they ended up trading in 2013. Adding Crosby to a young core at the time that consisted of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry could have made the Ducks one of the league's most feared teams for many years.
4 He Still Can't Grow A Playoff Beard
As the Pittsburgh Penguins were in a deep playoff run in 2008, the players' playoff beards were getting longer and longer, except maybe for Sidney Crosby. Many fans began to notice that Sid and facial hair don't go together and that whatever was growing on his face was a complete mess.
It's not like this didn't enforce the insults of Crosby being a "baby" or called "Cindy Crosby", either. This just added more fuel to the fire of Crosby insults. Unfortunately for those fans, the Penguins made two consecutive trips to the Stanley Cup finals in 2008 and 2009, so Crosby didn't have to shave it off for a while. With the Penguins winning the Stanley Cup again this past summer of 2016, the Crosby beard made its return. Despite being 29 years old, it still appears that Sid can't grow a beard thicker than peach fuzz.
3 He's Very Superstitious
The amount of superstitions that Sidney Crosby has is inconceivable. It starts with arriving at the rink on game day at a certain time, followed by taking the same route to the Penguins dressing room. He always prepares his sticks the same way and tapes them perfectly to his taste. When the team goes on the road, Crosby doesn't like having his sticks laid next to goalie sticks. He won't call his mom on game days either, since he got injured in the three times that he has. His most notable superstition is his number, 87, which stands for his birthday August 7, 1987. There's even more, but you get the picture. Crosby can get a little ridiculous when it comes to his superstitions, but you can't say that it hasn't worked so far, can you?
2 He Can Already Retire As One Of The NHL's Most Decorated Players And
At only 29 years old, Sidney Crosby has already accomplished almost everything that an NHL player could accomplish. He is one of the members of the "Triple Gold Club," which consists of players that have won a Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold, and a World Championship. Along with one gold medal at the World Championships, Crosby already has two cups and two Olympic golds, and definitely has time to add to that total. You also can't forget him recently winning gold at the World Cup of Hockey with Team Canada in 2016, and a World Junior gold in 2005. Adding all that to the individual trophies that he's won, Crosby could retire today and be one of the most decorated players the NHL has seen in a long time. Which the front office types would hate considering all that lost money.
1 Still The Best?
Sidney Crosby is arguably the NHL's best player right now and has been for many years, but how long will that last? With the emergence of exceptional young talent that the NHL has seen this season, starting with guys like Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews, and Jack Eichel, Crosby may not be the NHL's best player anymore as early as next season.
As the 2016-17 season winds down, it is likely that Connor McDavid will take home the Art Ross and maybe even the Hart at just 20 years old. Sure, Crosby did miss some games this season and that might have made the scoring race even tighter than it is, but there will be at least one player who will be competing with Crosby as the league's best player in the coming years. With Crosby turning 30, he won't be getting younger and who knows how he'll be doing health wise. Will Crosby ever win a scoring title again or is it time to hand over the torch to McDavid as the NHL's best player?