Even if you are not a fan of the game of ice hockey, there is every chance you have heard of the name, Sidney Crosby. One of the greatest hockey players of all-time. The Canadian national is the team captain of the National Hockey League side, Pittsburgh Penguins. Since his selection with the 1st overall pick during the 2005 NHL Draft, Crosby has made a name for himself in the world of sports by achieving great feats, including numerous titles and accolades.
He was named All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, four-time National Hockey League First All-Star Team, three-time winner of the Stanley Cup, Mark Messier Leadership Award, and World Cup of Hockey Most Valuable Player. The Canadian-born player has also claimed the Pittsburgh Penguins Most Valuable Player Award twice.
All these jaw-dropping feats have fascinated many sporting fans all over the world. They however do not come as a surprise to those that knew the young Crosby from when he was just a little boy, tearing up the charts in the junior hockey league in his native country.
Meet The Youngster Who Conquered The Canadian Minor League
The Hockey star’s birth date is recorded as 7th August 1987 and he grew up in the town of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Thanks to the influence of his hockey-crazy town, as well as immediate family, he took to the game when he was just two and by three years of age, also started skating on ice. Both of these exploits provided the perfect combination that would help him conquer the minor leagues in his native country.
However, before proceeding to the minor leagues, Sidney Crosby had to pass through the high school system first. He attended different schools from age 12 to 16, including Astral Drive Junior High School and Shattuck-Saint Mary High School (Minnesota), and excelled in his academics. He also performed excellently well on the hockey field, leading Shattuck-Saint to the national under-18 AAA championships. This feat attracted the attention of several junior league teams and he was drafted into the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in 2003.
Sidney Crosby would spend just two years in the QMJHL but it was two marvelous years that would not be forgotten in a hurry. Playing for a team known as Rimouski Ocèanic, the young boy scored a whopping 54 goals and 81 assists in his first season. This fetched him the CHL (Canadian Hockey League) overall rookie of the year award. He was also recognized as the leading point scorer (Jean Bèliveau Trophy), as well as MVP (Michel Brière Memorial Trophy), making history as the first player from the QMJHL division to go on and scoop these honors.
Crosby would repeat this same feat (leading point scorer) in his sophomore season. This fetched him several honors again and he was unsurprisingly drafted first overall in the 2005 NHL Draft. The side who were lucky enough to grab him was the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Emerging A Three-time Stanley Cup Champion With The Pittsburgh Penguins
Joining the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005, Sidney Crosby knew he had to prove that his QMJHL exploits were no fluke and he threw himself into this task with much passion. The Halifax native proceeded to return an impressive 102 points (63 assists and 39 goals) and finished second in the NHL rookie of the year voting. He also made history as the youngest player to return 100 points in one season in the history of the league.
Building upon that success, Crosby posted 120 points (84 assists and 36 goals) in his sophomore season to finish scoring champion. This feat earned him the Art Ross trophy. It also saw him make history as the youngest scoring champion in not only the NHL history but also other major professional sports in North America. Crosby has remained with the Pittsburgh Penguins to date and his journey with them has witnessed some years of injury issues
He has, however, helped the team to win the NHL’s biggest trophy, The Stanley Cup, on three occasions. Crosby first lifted the trophy after a mercurial 2009 season in which he recorded 103 points (33 goals and 70 assists) to take his team to the playoffs. In the playoffs itself, he continued his impressive strides as the Penguins defeated several teams, including the Detroit Red Wings, to lift the Stanley cup. In winning the trophy, Crosby made history as the youngest NHL captain to do so in over two decades.
Following that historic victory, Sidney Crosby has captained the Penguins to two more Stanley cup victories and he did so in grand style. First was the 2016 edition where they defeated the San Jose Sharks in six games to emerge victorious. Next was the 2017 season where they defeated the Nashville Predators to emerge back-to-back champion. Crosby was at the heart of each and every of the victory and this is reflected in the individual accolades that he has collected in the NHL.
The center has been named to the NHL All-Star Game an impressive eight times. He was also named to the NHL-All-Decade First Team in 2019 and in 2017, was named amongst the 100 greatest players in NHL history. Other accolades are NHL First All-Star Team (4x), The Ted Lindsay Award for the most outstanding player in the NHL (3x), The Conn Smythe Trophy for the most outstanding player in the Staley Cup playoffs (2x), and the Maurice Richard trophy for the leading goal scorer in NHL (2x). Fox Sports has also named Crosby number 15th on their list of the 21 greatest athletes of the 21st Century.
Highlights Of The Multiple Gold Medals He Has Won At International Competitions
In the world of sports, some athletes only excel at club level but do not replicate this at the national level. Sidney Crosby does not fall into this category and this is a further testament to his greatness, not only in ice hockey but in sports generally.
The Canadian player first represented his motherland at the 2003 U-18 junior championships held in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He was just 16 years old at the time and contributed six points as his country picked up a respectable third-place finish (bronze medal). Since that impressive debut, Crosby has represented Canada on several other occasions and has led them to glory as well.
He took part in the 2005 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in North Dakota where he and his teammates defeated the Russians to pick up the gold medal. Another gold medal came five years later at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver where he supplied the winning goal that helped his team defeat the American contingent in the final game.
Crosby would taste his second Olympic gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia where he and his teammates defeated Sweden in the final match. The group would go on to win gold once more at the 2015 World Ice Hockey Championships held in the European city of Prague. These feats, as well as his great contributions to Canadian society, has made Crosby a beloved national figure. He has therefore been bestowed with honors such as The Order of Nova Scotia and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
He Holds Some Of The NHL’s Most Lucrative Playing And Sponsorship Deals
Sidney Crosby is one of the most financially-rewarded players in the history of the NHL and the reason for this is clear. First is his record-breaking exploits as well as numerous trophies and accolades over the years which have led to lucrative contract extensions from his employers. Second is his media savviness. The Penguins captain boasts of exemplary maturity, as well as modesty and this has made several brands want to associate with him.
In order to understand just how media-savvy Crosby is, it is important to note that he gained his first endorsement deal even before he was drafted into the NHL. This was at the age of 15 and it came from a company that manufactured wooden ice hockey sticks known as Sherwood Sticks. By the time his next birthday rolled around, Crosby would ink a 3-year, 300,000CDN deal with Pepsi Co to represent their energy drink brand known as Gatorade.
Since making it into the NHL and consolidating his star status, Sidney Crosby has gone on to land deals with brands such as Tim Hortons, Telus, Bell, Dempster’s, Kellogg’s, Hallmark, GoPro, CCM, Verizon, Upper Deck, Lays and Frameworth. His most lucrative sponsorship deals, however, remain his association with Reebok, now Adidas. He and the company first inked a five-year equipment and apparel deal worth $2.5 million in 2005. They then signed a 7-year extension worth about $10 million in 2010. Going by Forbes December 2019 estimates, Crosby earns $4.5 million from endorsement deals alone annually.
Away from endorsement deals, Sidney Crosby has also earned handsome rewards from the Penguins for all he has done. His rookie contract was a three-year deal worth $11.1 million in 2005. By the time this contract expired in 2008, his team gave him a much improved five-year deal worth $43.5 million. This deal saw his annual salary jump from $3.7 million to $8.7 million.
In 2012, Sidney Crosby was the recipient of a 12-year contract extension worth a whopping $104.4 million. The deal remains in force to date and sees his annual salary hover between the $12 million and $9 million regions. Going by Spotrac estimates, Crosby has earned as much as $128, 290, 244 in salaries since joining the league. This, together with his endorsement deals, has contributed to his present net worth of $55 million, which is certainly a deserved reward for a player of his caliber.
His Father Once Played Hockey And His Little Sister Is Following In His Footsteps
As we mentioned, Crosby hails from an ice hockey-loving family and this influenced his love for the game. His family comprises of his father, Troy, mother, Trina Crosby, and his only sibling, a sister named Taylor.
Troy Crosby also played hockey in the same Quebec Major Junior Hockey League that his son started his career from. He manned the net as the goaltender for the Verdun Junior Canadiens. Troy achieved some success with the side as they won the QMJHL and qualified to play in the Memorial Cup of 1985. The senior Crosby was also drafted to play in the NHL in 1984 by a professional side known as Montreal Canadiens. He, however, did not get to pick up a professional career for some undisclosed reasons. The man is, however, not overly bothered as he has gotten to watch his son reach the very zenith of the NHL.
Another Crosby who is also trying to make a mark in the game is none other than his sister, Taylor. She grew up loving barbies and the likes but at some point in her childhood, decided that she wanted to become a goalie like her father. Her parents gave their blessings and she started playing for some junior teams. She also did horseback riding and baseball. The desire to succeed pushed Taylor to move to the U.S. where she attended Shattuck-Saint Mary High School, Minnesota. She spent some fruitful years there and helped the school to reach the national championships in her junior year.
For college, Taylor Crosby first attended Northeastern University (Boston) before transferring to St Cloud State University (Minnesota). At the latter, she appeared in a handful of games. She also majored in Mass Communication and received All-WCHA Academic Honours. It is quite obvious that Taylor has not reached the heights achieved by her big brother but she remains determined to succeed on her own merits. She and her brother enjoy a great relationship and use their spare time to discuss school, social life, and the likes.
Meet The Long-term Girlfriend Of The NHL Star
One of the things that have made Sidney Crosby a marketable athlete is his squeaky clean image. He keeps his nose clean and is never caught up in any scandals. He also keeps his personal life private and focuses on giving his best on the ice rink. This is an admirable fact but it also means that we don’t have many specific details on his love life.
We do, however, know that the NHL great is in a relationship with a former professional model named Kathy Leutner, a native of Virginia who grew up playing sports in school. She was scouted while out at a mall and went into modeling. Leutner has modeled for various magazines in the bridal and fitness genre. She has also done work for retailers such as Abercrombie and Fitch, as well as Hollister Co.
It is believed that Crosby and Kathy commenced their relationship in 2008. They reportedly met each other through mutual friends and have remained together to date, save for a breakup between 2010 and 2011. The couple is not one to parade their relationship for public scrutiny but Kathy has been spotted celebrating with her man following his recent Stanley Cup triumphs. These pictures show that she is part and parcel of the Crosby family fabric. It will therefore not be surprising if we hear wedding bells in the nearest future.