Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was a stone-cold guaranteed lock to make the Team Canada Olympic roster. Even if the Pittsburgh Penguins captain were unable to play due to injury, Hockey Canada would likely name him to the team out of respect. On Sunday, Hockey Canada informed the first three players of their selection to Team Canada, and Crosby topped the list.
Sidney Crosby. Connor McDavid. Alex Pietrangelo.
That’s a pretty good three. The scoop goes to Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons, and Pierre LeBrun of TSN backed the report. According to LeBrun, the IIHF, the NHL, and NHLPA requested three players be named.
This was requested the the IIHF/NHL/NHLPA.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 3, 2021
The larger question remains: Which player will captain Team Canada? Crosby, of course, scored one of the two biggest goals in Canadian hockey history when he popped “The Golden Goal” to win the gold medal on Canadian soil at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. The goal is rivaled only by Paul Henderson’s goal to beat the Soviet Union in the 1972 Summit Series.
If you ever get a chance, you must view the documentaries on the Summit Series, including the NBC-produced version. When the Hockey Hall of Fame showed it, I witnessed more than a few tears on a Saturday afternoon. Henderson’s goal was that important to national pride. Crosby’s goal rivals it.
Crosby was the 2014 Team Canada captain. Scott Neidermayer was the 2010 captain. But NHL players did not participate in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
Will Hockey Canada reward Crosby with one more “C”? Will they pass the torch to McDavid, or will they name Pietrangelo as a compromise candidate?
It’s a big deal.
Last season, McDavid, 24, swept the Art Ross, the Ted Lindsay, and the Hart trophy. He scored 105 points, including 33 goals, as he played all 56 regular-season games.
The knock against McDavid is his lack of playoff success. He has played just 21 playoff games in his six-year career. His teams have made the playoffs three times and advanced past Round One only once.
Crosby, 34, will miss the start of the regular season but should return soon after as he recovers from wrist surgery. Crosby has three Stanley Cup rings, in addition to the 2010 and 2014 gold medals. He has played in 174 NHL playoff games and scored 191 points, including 69 goals.
Following his gold medal at the 2015 World Championship, Crosby became just the 26th player to join the Triple Gold Club. Members of the Triple Gold Club have won the Stanley Cup and gold medals at both the Olympics and World Championship.