Lightning struck the 1st time with the Pittsburgh Penguins being able to get Mario Lemieux in the 80′s to save the franchise not once but twice. The Second time he saved the Penguins franchise, he had a little help. His help had a name, Sidney Crosby. Sid was the best player in the draft by far and away, and the Pens needed a Bouncing Ping Pong Ball to bounce their way so they could get him. And it Did. And the Rest Was History.
Sid is only 24 right now and will turn 25 in August. Why did I start with that? Let’s take a look at his career stats. He has 609 points in 434 regular season games. He has won a Stanley Cup in 2009, a cup Finals in 2008. He guided Team Canada to an Olympic Gold Medal, not to mention scoring the Gold Medal winning goal. He won an Art Ross Trophy, A Hart Trophy, A Ted Lindsay, and a Maurice Richard Trophy. Did I mention he was just 24.
He has had concussion issues for the past 2 seasons that has limited his play severely. There was even some doubt if he was ever going to return. He returned once for 11 games, then went on another 3 or 4 month layoff to return again late this season. Sid was able to finish the last 16 games, not to mention the fact that he was able to play in the Playoffs.
This has been his first off season that he has not played in World Championships and that he has not been nursing a head injury. He is rested and training hard and the Penguins are looking for Big Things from him this upcoming season. And for seasons to come, as contract negotiations are currently taking place that could extend him out 10 more years as a penguin.
We are inching ever closer to the end of this series of posts. I hope you all have enjoyed this 40+ year retrospective. If you would like to follow me on Twitter you can @sportsmonger and on Sports Monger Radio every Friday Night at 11pm.