Evgeni Malkin, teammate since 2006
GAME – JAN. 7, 2007 VS. TAMPA BAY: “He went 2-on-1 with Mark Recchi and Mark Recchi gave him a pass to the front and he jumped. I was behind and I saw everything. I’m not just talking about his jump; I’m talking about he tried so hard to score. He started in the D-zone and he saw Mark Recchi a little bit in front of him. And he just started to skate so hard and go in a straight line, and I just knew he was going to score because he went so hard. He was so hungry to score and I remember he dove and just a little chip to the puck. It’s an amazing goal.”
ANECDOTE: “We have a lot of memories, and my best one is when I came to Pittsburgh for the first time and we had dinner. Me, Sid, Mario (Lemieux) and (Sergei Gonchar). It was the first time we met each other. And now, after 15 years, he’s not ‘Sid the Kid’ anymore. He is an old man (laughs). But he is a great leader, great teammate and the most professional hockey player I have ever seen.”
Kris Letang, teammate since 2005
MOMENT: “I remember in Game 6 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final against San Jose, he told me before the game that we were going to team up for the biggest goal, and we ended up scoring the game-winner. I thought that was a pretty special thing between me and him.”
ANECDOTE: “I’ve been with him for 15 years, so it’s tough to say one thing. Sid would just come up with me to pick my son up after school and sit around and wait for the kids to come out. He would bring him Gatorade and just spend a little bit of time with Alex.”
Jake Guentzel, teammate since 2016
MOMENT: “I think the most memorable moment that I watched was his Golden Goal in Vancouver. I think that was just every kid’s dream, to score that goal. So it’s pretty cool to see, and just to realize that you’re a part of it now and to play alongside him is pretty cool.”
ANECDOTE: “I think the first time I got called up in training camp, I didn’t really know anyone. He went out of his way and took 10 minutes of his time and just came and talked to me. He shook my hand and introduced himself and told me if I ever need anything, he’ll be there for me. So just being a young guy who doesn’t really know anyone, that just made me feel really comfortable.”
Brian Dumoulin, teammate since 2013
MOMENT: “My favorite Crosby moment was in Game 2 of the 2016 Eastern Conference Final versus Tampa Bay. We were tied 2-2 in overtime. It was Sid’s first playoff OT goal of his career. Passed it to Rusty and Rusty made a good move pulling up off the blue line and passes to Sid, who beat Andrei Vasilevskiy blocker-side to win in OT.”
ANECDOTE: “Just at team parties, whenever we’re playing beer pong, his elbows are always hanging over the table. So if you ever play Sid, make sure you check his elbows (laughs).”
Bryan Rust, teammate since 2014
GAME – JAN. 1, 2008 AT BUFFALO: “The game that comes to mind when I think about Sid and his career is the outdoor game in Buffalo with the snow. He got the shootout game-winner. I can’t remember what year that was, but it was the first real taste I got of Sidney Crosby and how good he was. He was on the main stage in the outdoor game and it was definitely just a fun memory.”
ANECDOTE: “That was a good one by Dumo (laughs). That is true. I think anytime anyone has food or treats on the plane or the bus, you can always find Sid coming by trying to look for a handout, for sure.”
Max Talbot, teammate from 2005-11
GAME – NOV. 10, 2005 VS. MONTREAL: “I will always in my mind remember that goal against Montreal Canadiens. The first one he scored in a shootout. I was there and it was like his ‘welcome to the NHL’ moment.”
ANECDOTE: “After we won the Cup in ’09, Geno and I went to the Awards in Las Vegas, brought the Cup and everything. Sid was still hurt, so he didn’t go, but he met us in Miami. We’re not even a week away from winning the Stanley Cup, his first one. We’re on the beach, just relaxing and stuff. We go to dinner that night, hang out, go to bed pretty late. The next morning I show up for breakfast in my bathing suit just going to lay on the beach again. I see Sid with his running shoes on and he’s going to run. I’m like, ‘what are you doing?! What are we doing?” He was like, ‘well, let’s prepare to win another Cup.’ And I’m like ‘dude, relax (laughs).’ That just shows how driven he is. He’s already thinking about the second Cup. I was like, ‘I’m not following you there. I’m going to relax and get a tan (laughs).'”
Colby Armstrong, teammate from 2005-08 and contributor to AT&T SportsNet
GAME – NOV. 16, 2005 AT PHILADELPHIA: “I was still in Wilkes-Barre, I hadn’t been called up yet. It was Sid’s first year. And our strength coach said, ‘Hey Armpit, you want to go watch Crosby in Philly?’ It was a couple hours down the road, so I was like yeah, let’s go. We’ll go down there, have a nice meal, watch Sid. We’ll get tickets, we’ll sit in the stands. I’m in the minors, no big deal. It was my first time seeing Sid play an NHL game live, which was really cool – in Philly, nonetheless. And he scored the overtime winner after getting his teeth knocked out by Hatcher. He’s down, he’s yelling, he’s slamming his helmet. This kid is just a disturber on top of being really good, right? He was INVOLVED, man. They were trying to get to the young kid and his nose was right in there and he didn’t back down. I was in the stands, literally drinking a beer, watching the game, and he gets a breakaway and scores in overtime. Then he has that celebration where his teeth are all chipped, his mouth is bleeding, it’s a great Crosby clip. But that was when I first saw him. I was in the stands, as a fan, and I saw the battle level and compete and skill. The guy that got it done when it mattered. And against Philly, in Philly, which was really cool. A fan in our section said, ‘I think we’re going to have to get used to this’ (laughs).”
Bill Guerin, teammate from 2008-10 and member of Penguins management from 2011-19
GAME – MARCH 5, 2009 VS. FLORIDA: “Honestly, my first game with the Penguins playing with Sid, I knew he could use his backhand better than anybody. And he ripped this backhand pass to me – it was like over a guy’s stick through another guy’s legs – and it landed right near my stick. I kind of screwed it up because I wasn’t expecting somebody to actually try that. I’m like, oh my God, you made that pass, and it was to me. I was like, I got to be ready for anything with this guy. I played with some great players over the years, and this guy was just special. He was just different. I was like oh, man. Here we go (laughs).”
ANECDOTE: “When he scored 50 goals, I would always give him a hard time about how good of a passer I was. I think I had 24 assists that year. So it was the middle of the summer and I got a package at my house. I opened it up, and it was a brand-new iPad. I’m like, what the hell is this? And there was a note from Sid in there. And it just said, ‘Never scored 50 until I played with you.’ And he told me thanks. I just thought it was so cool.”
Bryan Trottier, Hockey Hall of Famer and Penguins partnership sales liason
GAME – NOV. 21, 2011 VS. NY ISLANDERS: “He picked up the puck and just found a gear that I’ve never seen him find before. And then he went in and scored a goal. I said, that was beyond vintage Crosby. He’s made some incredible plays throughout his career. Just hitting pucks out of the air and deflection types of plays…as I tell my son, there’s only a few of us that can do that (laughs). I don’t even dare put myself at his level. That would be my game because we were all anticipating what he was going to play like, what it was going to be like. And when he found that gear, I was like, he’s back (laughs). He might have found another gear. It was so funny – when I played in the league, Gilbert Perreault played for Buffalo. When he attacked, he’d be coming down the ice with the puck. And you’d just see the fear of the defensemen he was going at. And those were my teammates, and I would tease them after, like guys, if I had a camera in your face. It wasn’t like, oh yeah, come to Papa, I got ya. It was like no, no, no! And then you see Mario do that to guys, and then all of a sudden you got Sidney. I could be sitting in the top of the building and you can almost see eyes bulging out of the player’s heads, like shoot, he’s coming down on me!”
ANECDOTE: “I went down just to say hello to him the very first time during his rookie season in 2005. His humility jumped at me right away, like he was just so respectful of the game. He lights up when he talks to you. I was pretty excited to go down, so I brought my son. He was about 4 years old. And I was sitting there visiting with him, and Sid took all of his attention and gave it all to my kid. I said to Sid, you want to know something? You are so freakin’ cool. That, to me, was just spectacular. After a few minutes he looked up at Sid, who said all right, little guy, nice to meet you. Then my son looked up at me and he goes, Dad, I’ve got to go to the bathroom. And Mario said, I’ll take him. I said no, no, no (laughs). It was just amazing how I came down to meet Sid and Sid kind of turned it around on me and talked to my son. That’s the genuine side of a human being. And then right behind that, Mario outdoes him by taking my son to the bathroom. I’ve got a picture of him holding Mario’s hand walking him there. My kid didn’t care who was taking him, he’s just got to go (laughs). He had no clue it was one of the greatest players in the history of the game.”
Eric Fehr, teammate from 2015-17
GAME: “Looking back, I don’t remember the scores of all the games, but I remember the good times with my teammates. Sid is always great for bringing the guys together. I’m honored to have played a few games with Sid on his way to 1,000.”
ANECDOTE: “One of my favorite Sid stories is from our Cup run in 2016. Everyone knows Sid is superstitious; this one worked out to our advantage. On our first trip to New York, a bunch of us went out to eat dinner the night before Game 3. Sid was kind enough to pick up the tab. We won. The next game I went somewhere else for dinner, but Sid was with almost the same group as before Game 3. Sid made sure everyone sat in the same spot and even ordered the same meal I had the previous time and put it in my spot. Sid picked up the tab the rest of the way through the playoffs. It worked out for everyone; we won the Cup and enjoyed some great dinners along the way!”
Joe Vitale, teammate from 2010-14
GAME – NOV. 21, 2011 VS. NY ISLANDERS: “I’ll never forget it. That was the most memorable night I played with Sid, because that was the game he returned from all those concussions. That was the first game I was healthy scratched in all season long because he returned, but that’s okay. It worked out well (laughs). I think the coach made a good decision by putting Sid in and not me. First period, he goes out there and puts a backhander underneath the bar. Incredible. The place almost erupted. I think he had four points in the night. That was one game I’ll never forget.”
ANECDOTE: “Aside from the hockey, I remember more about Sid off the ice. And I wish fans had more of an insight on what an incredible person he is, because he is 10 times the person than he is the player. My first camp in 2009, I was so scared and so nervous in my stall. The Penguins had just won the Cup. No one was really talking to me. I was kind of this undersized, under-talented kid from St. Louis, Missouri, and I’ll never forget Sid sitting down next to me in the stall and introducing himself. We talked about St. Louis, we talked about some of our favorite restaurants, and he really helped me settle into my first camp. It’s things like that I wish more people knew about Sid, because again, he is 10 times the person than he is the player.”
Mike “Doc” Emrick, legendary hockey broadcaster who has called virtually all of the big moments in Crosby’s career
GAME – NOV. 16, 2005 AT PHILADELPHIA: “It was Sid’s second visit to Philly in November of 2005. Eddie Olczyk was coach. Jocelyn Thibault was the starter but Konstantin Koltsov hit him in the throat with a warm up shot so Marc-Andre Fleury was in. Sid was victimized twice by amateur dentist Dr. Derian Hatcher, who performed a reported extraction of two teeth with his stick, unpenalized. Despite that, Sid and Fleury were brilliant and the game went to OT tied 2-2. Ryan Malone’s defensive-zone outlet pass sent Sid in on a breakaway and he beat Antero Niittimaki to make Wachovia Arena quiet. In my 47 years, I used the phrase ‘with the game on his stick’ a total of two times. Both times with Sid. Both times he scored. That night was the first. He was first star. Two goals, one assist, 3-2 Penguins win.”
ANECDOTE: “It was June 13, 2017, after the second of back-to-back parades and the guys still in town for a trip to PNC Park before the Rockies-Pirates game. When he first came to the Penguins, Sid had told me he played Little League in Nova Scotia as both a pitcher and catcher. That night, he was to throw out the first pitch. The Penguins and Pirates got to share a lot of time in the clubhouse, Sid got to warm up a bit, and then walked out with the Stanley Cup and his teammates to the mound. With defenseman Ron Hainsey catching and that night’s MLB plate umpire Jerry Meals from Butler, PA crouched behind in his normal position, Sid tossed in his pitch for a called “stee-rike.” It was a good night for the Bucs too. Andrew McCutchen had two homers in a 5-2 win.”
Eddie Olcyzk, broadcaster and Penguins head coach during Crosby’s rookie year
GAME – NOV. 16, 2005 AT PHI: “I was there when the whole thing went down with Derian Hatcher in Philadelphia and Sid taking a penalty while we were on the power play. I remember saying look, you’ve been tested your whole life, you’ve been challenged your whole life. People are trying to get under your skin and trying to goad you into penalties and whatever. Hatcher achieved his goal when all that happened after Sid lost his teeth, and it should have been a penalty earlier. There wasn’t, and Sid retaliated. That’s going to happen. You’ve got guys that have played in the league 15 years that retaliate and he had only played eight or nine games. And to take people back, the Penguins had not won a game in Philadelphia in like 10 years. Then Sid had the puck on a stick, like Doc Emrick said, and we won in overtime. His first game in New Jersey and the buildup; his first goal against Boston; and then that game in Philly – having been part all three of those was something that I’m very blessed to have been a part of. But that Philly game certainly was a coming out party for Sid and for the organization, too, because we had had a such a tough time winning in Philadelphia. It had been forever. So that was pretty remarkable.”
ANECDOTE: “For the short time I was with Sid and coaching him, the one thing that made you feel like the organization was in good hands moving forward is that anytime you had a 1-on-1 session with him with video or whatever, he knew exactly what was going to be played and what should have happened even before you hit play. He is just an incredible student of the game. The understanding, the wanting to get better…I don’t want to say it blew me away, but I just knew that this kid wanted to be the best and was going to do everything possible to make that happen. I don’t think the majority of players of today are students of the game, both current and historically, like Sid is. That was the one thing that made me feel good as a guy that took pride in knowing the people that came before, watching the game, learning the game, studying the game themselves and not counting on somebody to pull them aside and show him. He wanted to watch his shifts or watch this clip. So that was the one thing, is just even before the play was on, he knew what was going to be shown.”
Phil Bourque, Penguins Radio Network color analyst
GAME(S) – NOV. 16, 2005 AT PHILADELPHIA AND NOV. 21, 2011 VS. NY ISLANDERS: “Probably my two most memorable moments in this 1,000-game span for Sidney Crosby would probably be his first year, I think it was his second game in Philadelphia. You remember that game. Derian Hatcher just absolutely mauls him. Bloody mouth, comes back and scores the overtime winner. That one I’ll never forget. And also, I just have goosebumps right now even thinking about it – the time in 2011 when he came back against the New York Islanders. Came back from a concussion, scores on the backhand top-shelf. I just remember the feeling in the building, the feeling in the booth, just pure joy for him. And it was great to see this building explode and their happiness for Sid to be able to come back and play.”
Mike Chiasson, childhood friend and Penguins goaltending professional
GAME – NOV. 10, 2005 VS. MTL: “I think for me, it was that shootout goal against Montreal with the leg kick. It wasn’t close to the biggest game of his career, but I think that’s when it sunk in that he is a superstar. And it being his childhood team, the thing that stands out to me the most is when they flashed to Troy in the stands and you could see the excitement. He’s a guy that doesn’t show much emotion, so to see him almost giddy…That almost gives me chills talking about it now, with the leg kick and then seeing how proud Troy was. That one really sticks with me.”
ANECDOTE: “There’s so many. As one of his best friends, I could write a book. But I think for me, I go back to that first Stanley Cup and when he brought it back to Cole Harbour for the first time. For him to organize the street hockey game for us to play for the Cup, it was like we were kids again. Growing up, that was all we did, playing street hockey when we weren’t on the ice. To actually have the Cup there and him include us in that – the winning team got to take a lap with the Cup – it was almost like we made it. It was a ‘we’ thing. I think for all of us, that’s something you could never imagine doing. We all realized our dream was over (laughs), so that was our game, you know?”
Dr. Dharmesh Vyas, Penguins head team physician
GAME – MARCH 21, 2017 VS. BUFFALO: “As a team physician, unfortunately the ones that jog the memory the most are the ones where there was an injury. Years ago there was a home game against Buffalo where a puck hit him in the mouth. I went to the hospital with him and we went into surgery. Like any surgery, there was a high level of concentration during the procedure. But then out of nowhere, the anesthesiologist, who was likely not a sports fan, looks up and says to me, ‘Just curious – what’s the big deal here? Who is this guy, anyways?’ I chuckled to myself and thought, ‘You are the perfect person for this job and patient privacy.'”
ANECDOTE: “There’s a lot of things that Sidney and I have shared together, but probably the one that comes to mind the most is what he does for my two girls during warmups any time they’re down there at the glass watching him from Suite 66. They usually stand there and then he stealthily comes up next to the glass with his back to the glass, and he takes a bunch of snow from the ice and then dumps it on their heads. They know it’s going down, but they play along and look around like, where did that come from? They’re wearing Crosby jerseys, so it’s especially funny for them. He’s done this for years. It’s unusual for him, because he’s a creature of habit, but he’ll change up his routine just to do that. He always asks them if they’re sleeping well, and tells the girls sleep is a weapon.”
Chris Stewart, Penguins head athletic trainer
GAME – OCT. 7, 2005 VS. CAROLINA AND JAN. 1, 2008 VS. BUFFALO: “There’s just so many of them. From the first outdoor game goal that he scored in to my first year in the league, we went to a shootout against Carolina and it was Sid, Mario and Ziggy Palffy. There’s so many moments just stand out for me with him. But a lot of the times that stand out to me are behind the scenes, how he leads, how he handles situations as a person, just an unbelievable guy.”
ANECDOTE: “Sid as person is unbelievable. He’s been with my family 15 years now. At Christmas parties or anything like that, he’s more than generous with his time, taking photos with them and giving them the enjoyment of meeting him. “
Dana Heinze, Penguins head equipment manager
MEMORY: “I’ve been with Sid for so many years, I’ve seen so many amazing things transpire with him on the ice and his teammates. He is unbelievable out there. There was a situation one year when were in Los Angeles and we were playing the Kings. His skate holder broke, and we were going into overtime. At that time, nobody had changeable steel. So I changed his holder as fast as humanly possible, he went out there and actually scored the game-winning goal in overtime. That was a pretty neat thing.”
STORY: “I wasn’t with him his first year as a rookie, but I’ve been with him since the second year. I came from Tampa Bay to Pittsburgh, and I’m not going to lie, I was a bit intimidated knowing that the Penguins had Sidney Crosby. I was so nervous, I reached out to Brad Richards, who was on the Lightning. I knew Brad Richards knew Sid, and I asked Brad to contact Sid and let him know that I was a good guy (laughs). Then when I got to Pittsburgh, I met Sid and we had a great conversation. And he made me feel so welcome right off the bat. That’s Sid. Just a down-to-earth, normal guy. Sid’s work ethic is by far second to none, and his attention to detail is so dialed in, but I think the most important part of Sid is he’s a great person. He’s very thoughtful. Just recently, the other night when we beat the Capitals, he asked for two used game pucks so he could make sure that Mr. Hextall and Mr. Burke each got a game puck.”
Danny Kroll, Penguins assistant equipment manager
GAME – NOV. 21, 2011 VS. NYI: “Sid’s comeback game vs. the Islanders in 2011. After all the concussion issues, all the uncertainty and all the hard work and drive to come back, that was a memorable game…then he goes out and scores a magnificent goal about five minutes in. Couldn’t imagine the joy and jubilation he had in that moment. Couldn’t have happened to a better player or person.”
STORY: “Something I’ll always remember was Game 7 in Detroit in 2009. The bench area was extra small at the Joe, so I watched most of the game on the TV in our dressing room. Sid came off early in the second period after that collision along the boards. So he’s in the medical room getting checked out and he later told me, ‘I knew we scored that second goal because I heard you jump up and scream.’ We all know how that game ended. What a night!”
Andy Saucier, Penguins video coach
GAME: OCT. 23, 2018 VS. EDM – “If I have to pick one out of the 1,000, I’ll go with Oct. 23, 2018 versus Edmonton with Sid’s OT winner. There have been so many jaw-dropping moments over the years, but that one really stands out.”
STORY: “This isn’t a particular story or anything, but one of the most impressive things I’ve come to know about Sid is how good his memory is when it comes to plays and other things that happen on the ice. I can’t tell you how many times at the end of a video session he’s made reference to some specific play from earlier in the season, or even from years back, with an absurd amount of detail. Then when you go and find what he’s talking about, everything is spot on. He’s got the opponent, approximate time on the clock, whether we were at home or on the road. His memory is incredible.”
Mike Davenport, Penguins director of production operations
GAME: “Can’t say I have a favorite game because working so many of them over the years, I’ve seen so many great plays and goals from him. I’ve probably worked 96 percent of the home games since he started. What sticks out to me from shooting video of him all these years is that during morning skates, you would watch him work on something in particular, and then you would wait to see that particular play used in the game that night.”
ANECDOTE: “When Sid skated for the first time on March 14, 2011 after his first concussion, I saw him skating. I ran to grab a camera and went running back. I was told to wait before shooting and ask Sid his permission first. I was in the Zamboni entrance and quickly walked around to the runway to ask him. As I got to the bench, he comes skating over and goes, what’s up? I asked him if it’s okay to shoot him since everyone would want to see him skate for the first time. He laughed and said sure, but that he just finished for the day. I said okay, no problem. He goes walking down the runway, stops short of walking into the locker room, turns around and walks back to me. He says, what if I go back out there and do a lap around, would that work? I said yeah, but you don’t have to. He says, no problem, and proceeds to walk back out onto the ice. He goes down and shoots a puck into the net, skates back around and heads back down the runway.”
Mark Madden, Pittsburgh radio personality
GAME: NOV. 16, 2005 AT PHI: “It’s difficult to select my favorite Sidney Crosby game. It’s like choosing the brightest star in the sky. But I’m taking the path less traveled. It was Nov. 16, 2005 at Philadelphia. Crosby was a rookie. He took a stick to the face that shattered three of his teeth and necessitated stitches. But when overtime arrived, Crosby netted the first OT winner of his career on a breakaway, then stared down the Flyers, the rink and the entire city of Philadelphia with a jagged-tooth glare that was both grotesque and magnificent. It was Crosby’s second goal and third point in a 3-2 victory. Crosby went into the lion’s den and shot him. He beat the Flyers at Philadelphia, then subtly yet unmistakably rubbed it in. I knew right then that Crosby was one of us. That’s no less true 1,000 games later.”
STORY: “In terms of personal interaction, Crosby has always been terrific with me and my show. We laugh. I’ve never treated him like he’s made of glass, and he seems to like that. He’s a standup guy and, even as a teenager, was mature beyond his years. My mother and I were very close. I lost her in 2006. The Penguins’ season had ended. I came home one day not long after her passing and there was a message from Crosby on my answering machine. His condolences were warm and sincere. They brought tears. That’s a terrific gesture in any context – but even more so when you’re calling from Latvia, where Crosby was playing for Canada in the World Championships. Sidney Crosby is a one-of-a-kind player and person. Heck, I even root for Canada when Crosby’s on the team. That’s a big deal. I’ll have to explain myself to Herb Brooks someday.”
Bob Pompeani, KDKA-TV sports director for 38 years
GAME – OCT. 23, 2018 AT EDM: “There are so many great Crosby games and moments, like the playoff hat trick vs. the Capitals and Alex Ovechkin. Also, his shootout game-winner against the Montreal Canadiens, and so many others. But for me, I still can’t get past the overtime clinic he put on in Edmonton in overtime on Oct. 23, 2018. It was a 5-5 game and Crosby – basically one on three – weaved his way through Oilers players and eventually deposited a backhand game-winner top shelf. To me, that was vintage Crosby and a reminder to Connor McDavid that Crosby can still dominate games, especially at the most critical moments.”
STORY: Crosby is a rarity in sports today, especially in the social media, me-me-me world in which we live. Crosby continues to be about us-us-us as the consummate teammate, captain and face of the league. He takes that responsibility seriously and ALWAYS understands his role with regard to media requests and community needs. He always tries to take care of the local TV stations at least once a year. But for me, it was on a trip to Nova Scotia to cover his annual hockey camp. I asked a lot of Crosby that day. I wanted him to wear a wireless microphone for us, and he graciously agreed. When it was done, he asked if that was good enough, or did we need more? I said it was great. But upon reviewing the video later that day, I was so impressed that during his clinic for kids, he asked the entire staff of volunteers what they wanted for lunch, and made sure the orders were placed. Later, when the food arrived, he made sure all the orders were correct and then spent several minutes with each of the campers. He took pictures, he listened to their stories and offered advice to every single one of them. He got as much out of that as those kids did. He does not worry about his brand like so many do. His brand is well known even without any social media posts. Crosby rises by lifting others. I admire that.”
Steve Mears, Penguins play-by-play broadcaster for AT&T SportsNet
GAME – NOV. 21, 2011 VS. NYI: “That was one of those special games where you just KNEW when you walked into the arena that night that you’d see something special. There was so much anticipation and buzz in the building for a comeback that was highly anticipated across the hockey world. Crosby had spent nearly a year recovering from concussion/neck issues and made his return in a November home game against the New York Islanders. Five minutes into the game, he picked up the puck and exploded through center ice, got around the Islander defense and whipped a classic backhand shot past goalie Anders Nilsson. The roar from the crowd was deafening. Looking back now, it was really the first time that the new building shook. And the goal – speed, power, backhand shot, euphoric celebration – was the perfect way to signify that he was back. Knowing everything that he had been through, the uncertainty of his future and the unpredictability of his injury, that was the most memorable moment for me. For a franchise that is loaded with memorable comeback stories, that night was right up there with them all.”
STORY: “Two years ago, we were in Toronto about to leave the hotel for a game against the Maple Leafs. The city of Toronto, of course, usually means a large number of fans hanging out outside the hotel looking for autographs. Crosby walked out and obliged by signing as many jerseys and photos as he could. It was impossible to get them all. The departure time struck and the bus started to inch away from the parking lot. All of a sudden we hear from the back of the bus: “Hang on.” Sid had seen one disappointed kid, maybe 8 or 9 years old, who didn’t get an autograph out of the crowd. He had the bus stop, which few people on Earth can do even one second after a bus full of routine-oriented hockey players determined to get to the rink for a game is scheduled to leave. He walked to the front, had someone grab the kid’s jersey, signed it and sent it back to him. To look through the window and see the sheer elation and joy on this kid’s face was so special. Regarding Sid, I just sat there and thought to myself, ‘he just gets it.’ He put himself in that kid’s shoes, probably because he used to BE that kid, and made someone’s day in the process. It was one of so many examples over the years with Sid where you say, ‘he just gets it.'”
Dan Potash, Penguins rinkside reporter for AT&T SportsNet
GAME – NOV. 10, 2005 VS. MTL: “I’ll go back to one of the earliest moments of his professional career with the Penguins that stands out and makes me say, ‘wow.’ The Montreal Canadiens came to Pittsburgh to play the Penguins early in the season in 2005. It was the first time that Crosby was facing a team from Canada, and it happened to be the Canadiens, which was the team that he followed growing up, the team that his father was drafted by many years before. So there were so many storylines to this contest. Obviously, all eyes in Canada were watching. All eyes in Pittsburgh were watching because we were already excited about what Crosby was doing during his short time as a rookie with the Penguins. It was a 2-2 game, went to a shootout, and it was Crosby versus Jocelyn Thibault. We heard that he had some great moves and could do some unbelievable things on the ice, but his backhand…which, to this day, continues to be a thing of beauty…he used it to roof the puck so hard that it took the water bottle that was sitting on top of the net and shot it what felt like through the roof at Civic Arena. It was probably just 10 feet, but still, it’s so unbelievable to see that happen. And as much as you would think that it would happen a lot, it doesn’t. And it was so cool, because as he blew the roof off with the goal, he certainly did the same at Civic Arena. The place went absolutely crazy. I remember the camera angles from the broadcast I was watching panned to the crowd and they had an isolated shot of his dad, Troy, who just was going berserk. It was so much fun to watch him share the moment from the seats as a proud father as his son beat the Montreal Canadiens. It’s one of many thrilling moments, but for me, that was the first real big ‘wow moment’ for 87. Obviously I’ve seen many more in the hundreds of games since and look forward to seeing many more.”
ANECDOTE: “In the summer of 2005 I was traveling from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles. My direct flight got canceled and my new itinerary had a layover in Detroit. When I arrived in Detroit, I realize I’ve been given a middle seat, and I’m not happy about it. I get on the plane and the person that’s got the window seat in the row I am sitting in has a huge equipment bag buried underneath their feet. So I’m like, ‘Oh, all right, we’re all going to be squeezed in.’ So I sit down, buckle up, we take off, just decide to make conversation at some point and nnotice that his bag has some kind of hockey logo on it. So I asked him, ‘Where do you play? Why are you on your way to Los Angeles?’ And he tells me that he’s going to work out and train. The draft’s coming up, and so I asked if he hoped to play professionally. And eventually he said he was from Canada, things like that. So I asked him what his name is, and he says, ‘Sidney Crosby.’ I knew the name; I knew who he was. I knew that the impact he would have on the league, once he was drafted, but I just didn’t recognize him. He looks at my polo shirt, and it says Fox Sports Pittsburgh, and he said, ‘So are you a sportscaster?’ I said yes, introduced myself and we began talking. I tell him all about my time in Pittsburgh and the teams I covered and that I covered Mario Lemieux. And he said, ‘Well, I’m actually on my way to Los Angeles to work out with Mario.’ It was something that Sid’s agent had set up just to kind of keep him sharp and with the draft coming up later that summer. So, we continue our conversation and it was it was great. He was just a regular guy. And we talked about all kinds of stuff, from where he grew up to where I grew up and about Pittsburgh. We finally land and I say, ‘Hey, man, I wish you the best of luck. I’m sure whatever the NHL has in store for you, I’ll see you at some point down the line.’ Well, of course, we all know what happens. The Penguins win the lottery, they get to draft Sidney. That night, I did a live satellite talkback with Crosby from his home. And I was anchoring Pittsburgh Sports Tonight that evening, so we’re sitting at the desk. This was a pre-taped interview, so I can see Sid in his home in the monitor but he can’t see us, he could only hear us. So as we’re getting all wired up and ready to go, I quickly ask Sidney, ‘Hey, do you remember a flight from Detroit to Los Angeles from this past summer earlier in the summer? A guy that you met that was a sportscaster?’ And he just kind of smiles and goes, ‘Yeah, I remember! Hey, what’s up, man? I know this guy. How are you? What’s going on?’ And it was really funny because I remember a few people in our studio turning their heads at me like, how do you know him, and I’m sure that the heads on his end in Nova Scotia were turning as well. Well, fast forward even more to Penguins’ training camp. First day, he walks into the media room at Mellon Arena and we make eye contact, gives me a big smile and puts out his hand asking, ‘Hey, how you doing?’ So, just really funny how things work out. I had no idea that we would end up working with each other, if you will, for many years, and it was all based off this total surprise meeting on a commercial flight from Detroit to Los Angeles.”
Thai media restrictions raise freedom of expression concerns – CTV News
Thailand implemented new regulations on Friday that appeared to broaden the government’s ability to restrict media reports and social media posts about the coronavirus pandemic, raising immediate concerns that authorities will seek to stifle criticism.
While Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has long sought to crack down on what he calls fake news and has a government department devoted to it, the new regulations, announced late Thursday, include the ability to prosecute people for distributing “news that may cause public fear.”
It also gives Thai regulators the ability to force internet service providers to turn over the IP address of the person or entity distributing such news, and to “suspend the internet service to that IP address immediately.”
In a joint statement sent by six Thai journalist associations to Prayuth and published by multiple Thai media outlets, the groups urged him to cancel the restrictions, saying they were overly broad and an attack on freedom of expression.
“The clause `news that may cause public fear’ allows authorities to proceed with legal action against the media and the public without clear criteria,” they wrote, threatening to take legal action if necessary.
“Even if the public or media share factual information, state agencies may use this clause as grounds to file a complaint or threaten them.”
The new measures come as Thailand is struggling to cope with a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic fueled by the Delta variant, with rising numbers of cases and deaths. On Friday another 17,345 cases and 117 deaths were reported.
In announcing the restrictions, the prime minister said they were necessary to combat the spread of inaccurate rumors that could impede government efforts to vaccinate the population and implement measures to slow the pandemic.
“We have daily briefings to give the right information to the public,” Prayuth said. “But some try to distort the information and cause confusion.”
The announcement immediately raised fears that the measures could be used by authorities to stifle legitimate criticism and could also have a chilling effect by making it less likely that people would publicly question the government’s actions.
“Even if Thai people share legitimate information, even second hand, the government could still determine that the information, while factual, could cause a panic,” Mark Cogan, a professor at Japan’s Kansai Gaidai University, wrote Friday in an opinion piece in the Thai Enquirer online newspaper. “The government has almost accomplished what it has long set out to achieve. It’s a giant step closer to being sole arbiter of what is true and what is fake.”
Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri downplayed the concerns, saying that the order would not be “enforced in such a way to limit the media or people’s freedom of speech.”
“The government is rather trying to manage fake news or any criticism based on false information to prevent misunderstanding and hatred in the public,” he said.
Asked whether factual reports that have the potential to create fear could be affected, he said that “if the news is reported appropriately, there should not be a problem.”
In a discussion on Facebook, prominent Thai journalist Suthichai Yoon suggested Prayuth was reacting to growing dissatisfaction with his government’s response to the coronavirus crisis and was looking for a scapegoat.
“The government is stumbling, and feels that the reports presenting the facts to the public from the media, the mainstream media, are questioning whether the government can handle the COVID crisis, and whether the government should be changed or the prime minister replaced,” he said.
“The media is the easy scapegoat.”
Asked about the new measures at a news conference Friday, the top U.S. diplomat in Thailand, U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires Michael Heath, did not comment specifically, but emphasized that “the United States always supports freedom of expression.”
“That expression sometimes will include criticism of the government,” he said. “As you’ve seen in my own country, we tolerate a wide range of criticism of our government — some of it’s justified and some of it’s not — but we will always support the right for people to express their opinions.”
Media outlets appeal decision to deny info on stay of Port Moody mayor's sex assault charge – CBC.ca
Three media outlets are challenging a decision by the B.C. Supreme Court’s top judge to deny the public details about so-called alternative measures that resulted in the dismissal of a sexual assault charge against the mayor of Port Moody, B.C.
CBC, CTV and Global filed an application in B.C.’s Court of Appeal Thursday seeking to overturn a decision by Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson rejecting a bid for specifics about the measures Robert Vagramov was required to complete in order for the Crown to agree to bring criminal proceedings against him to a halt.
In a 30-page document filed with the province’s top court, media lawyer Daniel Burnett argues that Hinkson failed to consider the open court principle, central to the Canadian justice system, which requires anyone seeking a ban on publication to prove it’s necessary to prevent harm.
Vagramov was charged with sexual assault in 2019 in relation to an incident his lawyer later characterized as an “awkward date.”
Some transparency ‘required’
The charge was stayed months later through a process designed to give offenders with no history of violence or sexual offences the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions while avoiding a criminal record and civil liability.
At the time the charge was stayed, the Crown told the court only that the mayor had “successfully completed” an alternative measures program. The specifics were not disclosed.
CBC, CTV and Global filed an application in B.C. Supreme Court asking Hinkson to OK the release by the Crown and B.C. Corrections of documents that confirmed Vagramov’s eligibility for alternative measures, the specifics of the measures he was asked to complete and confirmation of the fact that he completed them.
In his April ruling, the chief justice said the documents the media were seeking were never introduced in open court, and so the open court principle did not apply.
In the appeal, Burnett argues that while the records themselves may not have come before a judge, they’re “intertwined with the administration of justice.”
“A criminal charge before the court was stayed in court based upon a criteria set out in the Code. An officer of the court, Crown Counsel, entered the stay in court based upon the criteria,” the appeal application reads.
“Some transparency regarding the measures completed is required if the fairness of the alternative measures system is to be understood and considered. The public as well as those charged should not be expected to simply trust that the measures are appropriate, fair, or applied evenly.”
A ‘chilling’ effect
The case shines a light on a program designed to rid the court of minor cases, save money for taxpayers and ensure that Canadians who make a single, serious misstep don’t necessarily have to carry the burden of a life-altering criminal record.
In rejecting the media’s bid for disclosure, Hinkson reached back to a 1994 parliamentary discussion that saw the Bloc Québécois justice critic say that “a private, administrative route” was necessary to ensure that suspects who agreed to co-operate could be sure that they wouldn’t later find themselves publicly shamed.
Hinkson concluded that releasing Vagramov’s alternative measures details could lead to manipulation by accused people looking to game the system.
He also said the disclosure could have a “chilling” effect on accused people who agree to alternative measures in the belief that it will keep their names out of the headlines.
‘An error upon an error’
In the appeal, CBC, CTV and Global claim Hinkson came to those conclusions based on “pure speculation” without reviewing the documents themselves.
“It was an error upon an error,” Burnett writes.
The media claim they weren’t seeking detailed psychological reports, and that Vagramov himself has spoken publicly about sending an apology letter to the woman who accused him.
“It is equally likely that better knowledge of the program will increase the number of individuals who wish to participate in it,” Burnett writes.
“Appreciating that every case has different circumstances, there can be no valid justification for keeping secrecy over what kinds of alternative measures it takes to avoid a prosecution, and what Mr. Vagramov did to earn a stay.”
Vagramov was elected mayor in October 2018 when he was 28.
He took a leave of absence after the charge was sworn but created a rift at city council when he returned to work in September 2019, ahead of the staying of the charge.
Vagramov later said was “deeply regretful” for the tension his criminal case brought upon council and the community.
The mayor’s lawyer did not return a request for comment Thursday.
Athletes' Mental Health Puts Focus on Their Social Media Use – BNN
(Bloomberg) — The growing focus on mental health at the Olympic Games is bringing attention to the pitfalls and benefits of social media use by athletes, for whom platforms like Instagram and TikTok help them stay connected with fans amid the isolation of the pandemic while also leaving them vulnerable to abuse.
South Korean archer An San, who won three gold medals at the games, became the target of misogynist attacks online from people who criticized her short hairstyle as being “feminist.” Japanese mixed-doubles table tennis winner Jun Mizutani said in a now-deleted Twitter post after his victory over China that he was getting anonymous death threats online, without naming the origins of the messages.
“There are definitely a lot of mean people out there who just say stuff that don’t need to be said,” said U.S. gymnast Sunisa Lee after winning gold in the women’s individual all-around event on Thursday.
The rising interest in athletes’ mental wellbeing and the impact of social media prompted International Olympic Committee member Kirsty Coventry, herself a former swimmer for Zimbabwe, to reveal that she had quit social media in the past year.
“In the last couple of days we’ve heard of a few athletes who have gone off social media,” she told reporters Thursday. “As nice and supportive as some can be, the negative comments — even if they are the fewest comments — can be really hurtful to athletes.”
Many athletes use social media to feel empowered by sharing their voice, expanding their sphere of influence, fostering connections and building personal brands, said Fernando Frias, a sports psychologist at Oregon State University. But the significance of the Olympics, compounded with heightened national pride, also means more people are likely to direct negativity at athletes online.
The situation facing Japanese athletes is further complicated by the polarization in society over the decision to hold the Olympics during the pandemic. As a result, more people are taking their anger out online at athletes, said Yuji Ishizaka, a sports sociologist at Nara Women’s University.
Japanese gymnast Mai Murakami conceded that she had been affected by cyberbullying.
“I know there are people who were against holding the Olympics, and at the same time, I know there are people who are supportive,” she told reporters through tears after the all-around women’s event on Thursday. “And even though I don’t want to see those negative comments and as much as I try to ignore them, the information comes through and I pick it up before I know it. It was very hurtful and sad.”
At the same time, social media has been an important way for athletes to stay in touch with family and fans due to the travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic, and to draw attention to less popular sports or newer sports.
Rayssa Leal, the 13-year-old Brazilian skateboarder, added 4.5 million Instagram followers over two days after she won a silver medal, according to Facebook Inc.
U.S. rugby player Ilona Maher saw her followers on TikTok triple in number after she started videos from the Olympic Village with comical commentary on attractive athletes and cardboard beds.
“It’s also been a great tool to use for my own personal branding and getting my name out there. And hopefully also for my sport and getting rugby out there,” she said.
And quitting social media may not even be an option for some athletes, particularly those from poorer countries for whom building an online following has been instrumental to their success. For example, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, who won the first gold medal ever for the Philippines, got enough money to go to Tokyo after posting an Instagram story in 2019 asking for financial support.
To help ameliorate some of the negative impact from social media, athletes can turn to psychologists who travel with their teams for help. Internet companies are also recognizing their role in minimizing harm experienced by athletes online. Facebook, for example, launched a private Instagram support account for athletes leading up to the games, according to Joyee Biswas, its head of sports partnerships in Asia-Pacific.
Frias, the sports psychologist, even suggested that social media literacy even be built into curricula in early childhood education and in sports training.
“I encourage athletes to engage mindfully and intentionally with social media while setting clear boundaries regarding communication with followers and time spent,” he said.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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