When someone mentions the name “Sidney Crosby,” they will usually get a mixed reaction about the superstar captain of The Pittsburgh Penguins. He is either loved or hated but there are not many people who are inbetween about the young man. No matter what he accomplishes in his hockey career, whether it is win Stanley Cups, Olympic Gold Medals, Hart Trophies, Art Ross Trophies, Rocket Richard Trophies or anything else there is one thing to recognize about him. He is a good Nova Scotian boy and I am proud to be from his home province.
His charity work is something he takes great pride in and he shows that he remembers where he is from, as well as the place that he calls home when hockey season has started. Back in 2011, Sidney Crosby donated money through his Sidney Crosby Foundation to the IWK Children’s Hospital in Nova Scotia to renovate the teen lounge. He requested no fanfare, no special treatment, no superstar welcome at all. All he wanted was to experience what the residents do on a typical day in the hospital in using the lounge.
He played pool with the kids and teens who frequent the lounge, as well as Rock band and even took part in an Arts and Crafts class with them. He was very approachable and made sure that if someone was nervous to talk to him, that he went out of his way to approach them and talk to them, which would eventually break them out of their shell.
The IWK was not the only recipient in Nova Scotia of Sid’s generous nature as he was joined by the NHLPA “Goals And Dreams” fund to donate 87 full sets of brand new hockey gear to Nova Scotia as well. The total value of the hockey equipment was over $40 000.00 and benefited 10 minor hockey organizations in the province.
I wrote this blog today because I had a work meeting with the Human Resources Representative for the company I work for. He noticed my Pittsburgh Penguins hat and said “I guess Nova Scotia’s traditional blue and white flag has been replaced by black and gold.” I discussed how I was a long time fan and then he said he had two things to tell me about Sidney.
“His mother worked for our company back when he was a young boy playing hockey. She was a cashier for us. Everyone who says he was spoiled and had a golden spoon in his mouth as a baby was wrong. Sid started as a goalie and when they noticed his skating ability at a young age, he moved to forward. His mother took her paychecks and financed his dream to play hockey.”
His second story is actually one that made me proud to not just be Nova Scotian but also a Penguins fan. It really made me smile and gives you insight into not just the type of young man that Sidney Crosby is but also how humbled and “real” he is.
“It was around 2 years ago on a Tuesday night, as they are our slowest nights. During the evening, Sidney Crosby dropped by the Elmsdale store with a friend. There was a father and a young boy at the bakery as Sid and his friend stopped to look at products. The young boy recognized Sid and stood there with his mouth open in shock. His father finally saw what he was staring at and stopped the boy from approaching Sid, as he did not want to disturb him. The friend noticed this and tapped Sid on the shoulder and Sid smiled at the boy and walked over to him. Getting down on one knee, Sid asked him his name but the boy didn’t answer right away. He then asked the boy if he played hockey. The boy softly said “Yes for the East Hants Penguins. Sid told the boy he played for a team named the Penguins too and asked the boy if he had paper and a pen. All the father had was a grocery list, so Sid signed the back for the boy. As this was going on, Sid’s friend was talking to the father. Two weeks later, an autographed photo of Sidney Crosby addressed to the boy arrived in the mail. It had a personal dedication to the boy that also said “Keep playing hockey, Your pal Sidney Crosby.”
This is part of the reason of why I am a fan of Sidney Crosby. Yes, he is the greatest hockey player in the world but he is also a great human being and a good Nova Scotian boy.