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Sidney Crosby’s 30 biggest moments from his road to NHL stardom

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The Penguins captain turns 30 today, so let’s celebrate by reflecting on the moments that propelled him to greatness.

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2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Three Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Sidney Crosby has officially turned 30 years old. It seems quite incredible that one of the greatest hockey players of this time has reached his 30s, but it’s true! The captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins has hit yet another milestone in his long hockey career.

By NHL standards, Crosby should be in the midst of a decline as a forward in this league. Yet, the last few years have been some of Crosby’s best in the NHL and in international competition. The future generation of hockey players are here in Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews, but Crosby’s recent dominance has shown that he’s not done quite yet. And love him or hate him, he’s here to stay.

As such, we’re here to celebrate Crosby’s long, industrious, and historic hockey career with a list of 30 moments, stories, or general pieces of fun that make up his story to date.

1. His humble origins

Crosby famously grew up practicing hockey in his basement, dinging up the dryer next to the net in the process. That story became so famous that people now believe Crosby actually shot pucks into the dryer itself, as he performed that feat for Jay Leno back in 2005. The machine now resides in the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, though the misconception of the story lives on.

2. His name is on his hometown’s sign

He’s Cole Harbour’s claim to fame!

3. His younger sister, Taylor, also plays hockey

And her bio at St. Cloud State is quite nonchalant about their relationship.

4. The Penguins had a 6.3 percent chance to win the 2005 draft lottery

Because of the 2004-’05 lockout, the NHL draft lottery for the following year was based on playoff appearances and draft lottery victories in the last four years. The previous year, the Penguins missed out on the top spot to grab Alex Ovechkin, raising their chance to draft Crosby in 2005 by 2.1 percent.

5. His first career NHL goal was assisted by Mark Recchi

Not a bad way to start your NHL career than on the receiving end of a pass from a future Hall of Famer.

6. At the start of his career, he lived with Mario Lemieux

The championship pedigree runs strong in Crosby’s early career, though he played just 26 games with Lemieux before he retired due to an irregular heartbeat.

7. Despite a strong first season, he did NOT win the Calder Trophy

Crosby’s 102 points were not enough to best Ovechkin’s 106 at the end of the 2005-’06 season, and so the famous “rivalry” began.

8. He’s set records as the youngest NHL player for a lot of things

That includes being the youngest player to:

  • Score 100 points in a single season (18 years, 253 days old)
  • Win the Art Ross Trophy (19 years old)
  • Win the Ted Lindsay Award (19 years old)
  • Be named to the NHL's First All-Star Team (19 years old)
  • Score 200 career points (20 years old)
  • Tally two consecutive 100-point seasons (20 years old)
  • Win the Stanley Cup as a captain since 1895 (21 years old)

His Art Ross Trophy win also signifies him as the only teenage scoring champion in any major North American professional sport.

9. At the time, he was the NHL’s youngest captain

Crosby was named the captain for the Penguins when he was 19 years and 297 days old, an honor he actually turned down when he was 18 because he didn’t think he was ready. Connor McDavid now has him beat at 19 years and 266 days old, but that record stood for nearly 10 years.

10. His commercials are no better than any other star athlete

Please stop subjecting poor athletes to these things.

11. His pregame rituals are precise

And he eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before every game!

12. At one point in his life, he owned a PSP

No news if Crosby has upgraded to a Nintendo Switch these days for those cross-country flights.

13. He’s also on a stamp

In the past, Canada celebrated great hockey legacies with commemorative stamps, and Crosby graced Canada Post’s “2016 NHL Great Canadian Forwards” alongside Phil Esposito, Guy Lafleur, Darryl Sittler, Mark Messier, and Steve Yzerman.

14. He’s the most decorated hockey athlete of his time

To his name across 12 NHL seasons, Crosby has:

  • Three Stanley Cups (2009, 2016, 2017)
  • Four Eastern Conference championships (2008, 2009, 2016, 2017)
  • Two Conn Smythe trophies (2016, 2017)
  • Two Art Ross trophies (2007, 2014)
  • Two Rocket Richard trophies (2010, 2017)
  • Three Ted Lindsay awards (2007, 2013, 2014)
  • Two Hart trophies (2007, 2014)
  • Six NHL All-Star selections (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2017)
  • A World Junior gold medal (2005)
  • Two Olympic gold medals (2010, 2014)
  • A World Cup of Hockey gold medal (2016)

15. He won Canada its first Olympic hockey gold medal on home ice

Crosby’s “golden goal” in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver gave Canada a 3-2 victory in overtime against the United States, helping the team to its first Olympic gold in the sport on home ice. Canada has hosted the Olympics three times, and its previous attempt in Calgary in 1988 fell short of the medal podium with a fourth-place finish.

16. Alongside all his hockey hardware, he has an Emmy award

Yes, Crosby is one fourth of the way to an EGOT. His role in the Penguins-produced special, “There's No Place Like Home With Sidney Crosby,” won in 2016 in the “sports program one-time special” category.

17. He’s a member of the Order of Nova Scotia

In 2008, Crosby was awarded the highest civilian honor in Nova Scotia for "significant contributions to the province and the country."

18. Growing up, he was a fan of the Montreal Canadiens

Crosby’s dad was drafted by Montreal in 1984 with the 240th overall pick, though he never played at the NHL level.

19. He once skipped the line at a DMV, to controversy!

In Pennsylvania, celebrities get special treatment at DMVs to avoid large crowds at already packed places. In 2013, Crosby skipped the line in Allegheny County and it caused quite the stir with local Pennsylvanians, who said “he should have to sit and wait with everyone else,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

20. The number 87 has followed him forever

Crosby was born on Aug. 7, 1987 (or 8/7/87) and he wears the number 87 for the Penguins. In his recent contract extension signed in 2012, Crosby negotiated his contract to, wait for it, average $8.7 million per season over the next 12 years.

21. The 2016-17 season was one of his best in recent memory

Despite a concussion in the beginning of the season that kept Crosby out for a few weeks, he managed to put up 44 goals — his best since the 2009-’10 season — to win the Rocket Richard Trophy for the most goals in the NHL. Crosby’s shooting percentage of 17.3 was also his highest for a full season in his career, just barely beating out his 17.1 percent mark in 2009-10.

22. Peyton Manning texted him after his latest Stanley Cup win

From one G.O.A.T. to another!

23. He’s not the cleanest player

From allegations of whining that plagued him in his first few years in the league to chopping off part of Marc Methot’s finger and punching P.K. Subban’s head into the ice, Crosby hasn’t had the cleanest NHL career. Yet again, who has?

24. But he’s one of the most punished players in the league

On the flip side, Crosby’s star status means he gets pushed around A LOT by opposing players. One of the reasons the Penguins brought in tough guy Ryan Reaves this offseason is because players take liberties when Crosby is on the ice. Though Crosby sometimes gets the calls, there are a lot of instances that never get caught.

25. Concussions have plagued him throughout his career

To date, Crosby has had five concussions and has missed a total of 114 games due to concussion-related symptoms.

26. He doesn’t know if he’ll play until age 40

In an interview with NHL.com in January, Crosby said he isn’t sure if he’d still be playing at age 40:

"For whatever reason, the last couple years and even playing with a guy like [Matt Cullen], it crosses my mind and I'm thinking, 'He's 40. I don't know if I could do that.' My contract is until I'm 37, so that's where I see myself playing until, and then we'll see from there. You see where your body is and how everything goes.

"But 37 is pretty good. There's not a lot of guys playing at that age these days."

27. Time named him one of the most influential people in 2007

And at age 19 no less. Crosby has certainly come a long way since then.

28. He has a big love for history

Crosby recently took a college course at Southern New Hampshire University in the middle of the season through the NHL Players Association. His topic for his final paper? World War II.

29. He’s a member of the Triple Gold Club

In 2015, Crosby became the 26th member of the Triple Gold Club, hockey’s elite group of players who have won an Olympic gold medal, a World Championship gold medal, and the Stanley Cup.

30. He’s 30 years old and still at the peak of his career

If he can stay healthy, Crosby still has a long NHL career ahead of him. And how lucky we are to have him in the NHL. Happy 30th birthday, Sidney Crosby!