Sidney Crosby is arguably one of the greatest athletes of his generation. Yes, we didn’t say hockey players, we said athletes. And the fact that a lot of you moaned about what we just said is one of the big reasons of why Crosby is a fantastic professional athlete. This guy has everything a professional league could want from a player. He is incredibly gifted, athletic, and doesn’t shy away from the challenge when the pressure is that its highest. But it is not only his prowess on the rink that made us characterize Crosby as one of the best athletes out there. This guy has a barrage of fans, but more than anything else, he has legions and legions of haters.
Whether people would like to admit it or not, athletes who can make opposing fans hate them with a burning passion are a commodity that doesn’t come easy these days. We have the more outspoken types like Draymond Green in the NBA, and we have guys like Tom Brady in the NFL. In the NHL, Crosby fits that bill perfectly. You will have a hard time finding someone who loves this guy and is not a Pittsburgh Penguins fan.
With all of that going for him, it is no surprise that Crosby pretty much became the face of the NHL, especially after he began winning titles with the Pittsburgh Penguins. A seven-time MVP and multiple record-holder in the NHL, Crosby already has his spot reserved in the Hall of Fame. But while the time for retirement doesn’t arrive, let’s go through a few things the NHL doesn’t want you to know about Crosby and seven they love to flaunt.
16 Doesn’t: Professional Diver
Sidney Crosby has made a name for himself as one of the best hockey players around, but if he had some good footwork, we are sure he would fit in well with the soccer crowd. At least, he has already proven in the NHL that he can dive with the best of them. Some people flop from time to time, but Crosby has turned it into an art.
Every time you turn on the television and see the Pittsburgh Penguins playing you can be sure that you are going to see one of two things: an amazing Crosby play, or an amazing Crosby flop. A lot of players try to mimic him, but no one seems to be able to convince officials that they got hit as well as Crosby does.
14 Loves: Leadership
There is a lot of bad, but there is also a lot of good when we talk about a player like Sidney Crosby. Sure, this guy has had his troubles with other players and opposing fans, but it is impossible to deny Crosby’s greatness. One of the main traits of this Canadian superstar is that he is a natural born leader. People might hate on him, say that he flops a lot, say that he is soft and whatnot. Nevertheless, you will have a hard time finding one of Crosby’s teammates complaining about his leadership. This is a guy who became a team captain by the time he was 20 years old. Most people are not even in the NHL when they turn 20.
The face of the league is a natural born leader, and the NHL will not lose time in telling everyone about it.
13 Doesn’t: The O’Reilly Family Jewels
Perhaps it is just one of the perks of being arguably the best hockey player on the planet, but Crosby sometimes can get away with the most ridiculous actions on the ice. A perfect example of that was the time when he decided to take an illegal swing at Buffalo Sabres’s Ryan O’Reilly. The fact that none of the officials saw Crosby, who, away from the play, speared his stick right at O’Reilly’s family jewels, is just ridiculous. This is only the first, and it won’t be the last time we talk about a Sidney Crosby cheap shot. Still, there was no better image to set the tone than this particular play. The funniest part of the whole situation is that O’Reilly forgave Crosby and said that those things happen.
12 Loves: Won’t Stay Down
Say what you say about Crosby, he might seem soft and get injured more than a lot of other stars, but the sheer power and will this guy has to get up time and time again after getting hurt is nothing short of impressive. Just take a deep breath and think about how many guys have seen their careers end because of injuries. It can range from anything like a knee or ankle injury to a concussion. More than that, the guys who managed to return from severe or dangerous injuries seldom get to be as good as they were before getting hurt.
Crosby seems to be the exact opposite. How many times have we seen this guy get hurt? And how is it possible that every time he comes back from an injury, he looks better than ever? You have to respect that.
11 Doesn’t: The Line Cutter
Let’s go with the most recent controversy involving Sidney Crosby to start off this list. Honestly, it seems like this became a bigger deal than it should have been, but it is still a story the news media loves to talk about. A few weeks back, Sidney Crosby decided to stop by the DMV to renew his license.
As you can imagine, the presence of the big shot in town at the DMV unavoidably caused a stir, as some fans were bound to recognize the Canadian star. As it is apparently their routine, the DMV workers took Crosby aside and handled whatever they had to handle with him before getting back to the “regular people.” And boy, did that cause a scandal. “Sidney Crosby skips DMV line,” became a nationwide headline. But maybe that’s just another day in the life for Crosby.
10 Loves: He Is Big-Time
It is not hard to find fantastic players who are at the top of their sport but somehow are unable to perform when it matters the most. We have seen this with LeBron James at the beginning of his career (and some might say they still see it today), we have seen this with Lionel Messi and the Argentinian national team in soccer, and the list goes on and on. Luckily for the Pittsburgh fans, Sidney Crosby is not a part of this statistic.
It is no surprise that this guy has helped the Penguins lift the Stanley Cup three times. Crosby’s playoff numbers are just as good, if not better than his regular-season numbers. In 148 playoff games, Crosby has scored 57 goals and helped out with 107 assists.
9 Doesn’t: The P.K. Subban Head Smash
Don’t get us wrong, Sidney Crosby is never right when he takes a cheap shot at an opponent, but sometimes this guy gets hit so hard so many times, and sometimes illegally, that you can’t really blame him for trying to get back at his aggressors once or twice. That was what happened during their Stanley Cup series against the Nashville Predators.
Every time those two were out on the ice, PK Subban found a way to hit Crosby and get under his skin. We seriously lost count of how many times Crosby got hit, and everyone knew it was just a matter of time until he got some revenge. But his comeback was one of the dirtiest plays of the year, as he held PK on the ice and then repeatedly smashed his head against the rink.
8 Loves: He's Obsessed With Hockey
They say that a person is never truly happy until they realize that they do what they love for a living. Well, Canada and Pittsburgh fans alike don’t need to worry all that much. Sidney Crosby loves what he does. You can see it every time he is out on the ice. No puck is lost, no game is too hard or too easy. All that Crosby does is play hockey, and he loves doing it. If you talk to the Penguins' staff, you will realize that it goes beyond what is normal, even for professional.
They say that Crosby will make excuses to stay on the ice for more time, or just hang out in the locker room while still wearing his hockey gear as long as he can. The guy loves the game, and you have to respect that.
7 Doesn’t: Terrible Acting
When you play hockey as well as Sidney Crosby does, there is not much else you need to do. Sure, you have to be nice to fans every once in a while, but not even that is so necessary. How many great athletes were there who were also terrible at dealing with their fans? Either way, Crosby has done some stuff that made everyone realize that hockey really was the career for him.
A perfect example of that is how he has acted on so many commercials since joining the NHL, and despite having a funny outing here and there, he is not a very good actor. The best Crosby acting clip we got was when he and Nathan MacKinnon had to work the drive-through at Tim Horton’s, and most of what they did was act naturally. That was pretty funny, but all of the other commercials are just terrible.
6 Loves: Endorsement Magnet
Opposing fans might hate him, but businesses and big-time brands love Sidney Crosby. Having the hype that you are the best player at what you do certainly helps, but it is also tough to deny that Crosby (or the people who run his career) really know what they are doing. Back in 2010, it was announced that the Penguins’ star would sign the biggest endorsement deal in the history of the NHL at the time. It might not seem much comparing it to the Tom Brady’s and LeBron James’s of the world, but seven years ago Crosby was expected to receive almost $10 million from Reebok. From that point on, he has kept going up without any hint of slowing down. Now he is the face of brands like Adidas, Gatorade, and Tim Hortons.
5 Doesn’t: Model? Nah
Well, we have already said that Crosby doesn’t have such a knack for acting, but we think it’s fair to say he doesn’t have a talent for modeling either. Crosby does pretty well during media day for the NHL, posing with the team’s uniform and with his teammates. But when he decided to do it for a magazine, it all just turned weird. It was back in 2010 when a young Crosby posed for Vanity Fair in what seemed like a very uncomfortable photo shoot. Not only that, his interview was as dull as magazine interviews get. We can just imagine how frustrated the reporter was when trying to ask Crosby a bunch of hockey and life questions while only getting a barrage of tedious answers in return.
4 Loves: A Man of the Community
Professional athletes earn a ridiculous amount of money these days, but most people are not even mad about that. The reason why folks are okay with athletes getting as much as they get paid is that the athletes who ultimately earn the most money are those who love giving back to the community.
These guys might make exorbitant amounts, but they are not shy about going to a soup kitchen and helping out during a holiday. They are not shy of giving millions and millions of dollars to charity. Sidney Crosby is a perfect example of that. Whenever this guy has a chance, he goes back to his native Halifax and spends time with his community. He helps out with charity, and when he is lucky enough to win a Stanley Cup, he takes it there with him to share the moment with people going through tough times in children hospitals and veteran homes.
3 Doesn’t: More Cheap Shots
We have talked about the cheap shot to O'Reilly's family jewels and the PK Subban head on the ice fiasco, but those two are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Sidney Crosby and dirty plays. Crosby’s repertoire when it comes to cheap shots is about as wide as his repertoire for diving and simulating fouls.
We have seen Crosby do it all. From the classic shot to the nuts, which he has done more than once, to more violent plays like dangerous elbows to the face and even one slash that will not escape the memory of hockey fans for a while. We are talking about the time when he slashed a guy so high and so hard that he broke his finger. You all know how thick a hockey glove is, right?
2 Loves: He Is Not Done yet
While he is a guy who excels in charity and has accomplished more in the game of hockey than most, if not all, of the players from his generation, there is one thing that both the NHL and the Penguins love to flaunt about Sidney Crosby. This guy doesn’t seem to be even close to being done.
Crosby has just turned 30 years old. Yeah, he is not that old for a hockey player. How many times have we seen guys playing into their 40s, some of them still playing really well? Sure, Crosby takes more punishment than your average player, but as we said before, he seems to get better every time he is knocked down. His stats are also proof that he is not slowing down at all.
1 Doesn’t: The Greatest Dive of All Time
Choosing what to put on this number one spot was quite the tough task. You can probably imagine how many flops and cheap shots we have had to go through in order to find the best (or the worst) of Sidney Crosby’s career. And there are certainly a lot of things that could have been featured on this number one spot. His terrible acting and modeling come to mind, but since the name of the game is hockey, we should bring to light what we believe is the worst part of Sidney Crosby’s game. While the cheap shots are ugly, most of them are him getting back at an opponent who hit him first, and a lot of other hockey players do the same. However, the flopping is just the worst. And to prove to you that Crosby’s flopping is nothing less than a disease, we have found the worst flop of his career. This guy seriously flopped when he was accidentally hit by a linesman. The ref barely touched Crosby, but he instantly collapsed as if another player had hit him.