Thursday, May 31, 2007

Crosby Named Penguins Captain...

"A person and a player who is not only the best in the league at what he does, but he is also a player who exhibits the will to win, a passion for the game and a team first mentality..and a player that always strives to be the best.

To me this is a well earned honor for Sidney Crosby and when I say earned, I mean earned and it is a privilege for myself to announce that today Sidney Crosby is the new captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins."

Those were the words of Ray Shero as he kicked off the festivities at Mellon Arena this afternoon, where Sidney Crosby was officially announced as the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is a good move by the team and solidifies this young man as the team leader. He had been filling that role throughout the year, as evidenced by the way he was directing traffic throughout last season and the playoffs. Crosby looked comfortable leading players like Mark Recchi, Gary Roberts and Sergei Gonchar on the ice...directing them on positioning etc. Crosby has great relationships with his teammates and is not going to change who he is. He has always lead by example on and off of the ice and that is something he pledged to continue. He will also count on his teammates to pull their weight and will utilize any and all input.

"I try to lead by example...I don’t think that I put that solely on my shoulders, as a captain you have to take responsibility of course...but at the end of the day it’s a team sport. There are a lot of guys I can lean on for advice or for help in that area. It takes a team to win. There are responsibilities that come with being a captain...lead on and off the ice. That is something I am ready to do."

The kid does not come across as cocky or in your face and will make a great leader. This is a logical step heading into his third season in the league...and he is ready for the challenge. People who say he isn't ready can relax at knowing he was offered the "C" last season and turned it down because he didn't feel it was his time.

"It was talked about midway through last year, and it wasn’t the right time for me. As a team were playing great and you don’t want to disrupt things like that and myself individually I wasn’t ready to accept that responsibility quite yet," Crosby said. "Going through the playoffs and having that experience has given me more confidence."

This is a great day for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the next step in their return to greatness. For all the great players on this team, Sidney Crosby is the cornerstone and face of the franchise.

Watching Mario Lemieux hand Sidney Crosby his number 87 jersey with the "C" stitched on the left chest seemed a bit like a passing of the torch. Mario may still own the Penguins, but they are now officially Sidney Crosby's team.

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