CROSBY COMES TO TOWN
Sidney Crosby arrived in his new home city for the first time Aug. 10. A throng of media and fans were on hand at Pittsburgh International Airport to greet the hockey phenom.
“It’s nice just to finally be here,” said the 18-year-old Crosby, whom the Pittsburgh Penguins picked first overall on July 30 at the NHL Entry Draft. “After the draft, I had a lot of anticipation to come here, but I am just excited to be here and see the city and meet some of the guys.
“It’s been a pretty long day,” he continued. “We had some trouble at immigration in the morning and our flight got delayed in Chicago, so it’s been a long one, but I am here now and happy.”
Crosby is in town to participate in the Penguins’ two-day rookie orientation camp. Also attending are prospects Ryan Stone, Noah Welch, Ryan Lannon, Jordan Morrison and Jean-Philippe Paquet.
The rookies will meet with Penguins coaches and hockey staff members and undergo medical exams and fitness testing. They will go through their testing procedures on Aug. 11 and 12. The fitness testing will be conducted at the UPMC Sports Medicine facility on Pittsburgh’s South Side.
Nevertheless, Crosby plans to do a little sightseeing while he’s in town.
“I am excited to see everything,” he said. “I hear it’s a great sports town and I am excited. It’s going to be a great place to play. I am just looking forward to stepping on the ice.”
Pittsburgh players and fans – as well as hockey enthusiasts around the world – are eager to see No. 87 take the ice in a Penguins uniform.
“To go from Junior to the NHL is a big step, but I am excited and a little nervous not knowing what to expect. It’s going to be a great time,” Crosby said. “I think there’s pressure, obviously with no season last year, they are going to look to players to step up and bring interest to the game. I believe I am going to be one of those guys, but I don’t think I have the NHL on my back. There’s a lot of great players that are going to bring interest, but I do feel part of that group.”
The Penguins are surrounding Crosby with the talent he needs to succeed with the recent signings of offensive weapons Sergei Gonchar and Ziggy Palffy as well as the acquisition of goaltender Jocelyn Thibault to go along with a talent-laden roster.
“I think it’s great they got Thibault and Palffy and Gonchar,” Crosby said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The Penguins open training camp Sept. 13 at Mellon Arena and Crosby can’t wait to skate with his new teammates.
“I have trained, just trying to get ready for camp. I just want to make sure I am ready in time,” he said. “There’s still a lot of anticipation. I just want to play hockey now.”