Sidney Crosby finally reaches 1,000-game mark

For many hockey fans it may seem like Sidney Crosby has been around forever. Therefore it comes as a bit of a surprise to that the Pittsburgh Penguins’ captain didn’t reach the 1,000 regular-season game milestone until Feb. 20, 2021.  After an emotional pre-game ceremony before the historic game, Crosby then went out and earned a pair of assists in a 3-2 home victory over the New York Islanders.

With Crosby being drafted first overall from Rimouski Oceanic in the 2005 NHL Draft it seems like he should have hit the 1,000-game plateau quite some time ago. This would have been the case had he not endured three injury-plagued seasons from 2010-11 to 2012-13 in which he missed a total of 113 games. Most of the absences were due to problems with concussions and he also missed 29 games in 2007-08 and another 28 last season.

The native of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia is now 33 years old and has been one of the most successful players in the history of the game. After winning numerous accolades in minor and junior hockey he’s continued that same tradition in the NHL. Crosby has set many Penguins’ club records and NHL milestones and has a room full of silverware to show for it.

So far in the big league alone, Crosby has racked up a berth on the NHL All-Rookie Team and has played in eight All-Star Games when he’s been healthy. He’s led the league in scoring on two occasions to earn the Art Ross Trophy and has also taken home a pair of Hart Memorial Trophies as the most valuable player to his team in the league. A trio of Ted Lindsay Awards have been won for being the most valuable player in the league as voted by his fellow players.

Crosby has been named to the season-ending NHL First All-Star Team four times and to the NHL Second All-Star Team four times. He’s won three Stanley Cups and twice led the league in goals to win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy. We can also add on a pair of Conn Smythe Trophies for being the most valuable player in the playoffs and two Mark Messier Leadership Awards.

When it comes to international hockey, Crosby has also shone on the world stage by winning a World Junior Gold Medal, a World Championship Leading Scorer award and being named the best forward at a World Championship and to the tournament’s All-Star Team. He’s also led Canada to a pair of Winter Olympic Gold Medals as well as a World Championship Gold Medal and a World Cup of Hockey Gold Medal. In addition led the World Cup of Hockey in scoring in 2016 and was named the event’s Most Valuable Player.

There isn’t much Crosby hasn’t accomplished throughout his life with a pair of ice skates attached to his feet and with six goals and 15 points in 16 games this season there’s no reason to believe he’s in the twilight of his career. After 1,000 regular-season outings, the centre had accumulated 468 goals and 810 assists for 1,278 points. He had a +176 rating with 66 game-winning goals and another 142 on the power-play. Crosby has also chipped in with 68 goals and 121 helpers for 189 points in 168 postseason contests with a +18 rating.

But for all Crosby has achieved in the NHL, there have been rumours that the Penguins have recently had thoughts of trading. Of course, if Wayne Gretzky was traded during his days as the NHL’s all-time leading scorer then anything’s possible. With the team hiring Ron Hextall as its new general manager and Brian Burke as the president of hockey operations, Crosby has been aware of the rumours swirling around.

He’s signed until the end of the 2024-25 season and currently ranks second on the club’s all-time scoring list behind Mario Lemieux but  Crosby is the first to play 1,000 games with the team. He admitted that dealing with trade rumours is something new to him but told the media he hopes to spend the rest of his playing days in Pittsburgh. He claimed the rumours are out of his control though and what happens during the remainder of his career may not be entirely up to him either. But no matter where Crosby ends his career, he’ll always be regarded as a hockey hero in both Pittsburgh and Canada.

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