Sidney Crosby named captain of Canadian Olympic team 0
Canada's Sidney Crosby celebrates scoring the gold medal winning goal during the overtime period during the gold medal men's Olympic hockey game between team Canada and team USA at GM Place in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010. Photo by ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY
You could "C" this one coming, eh?
Sidney Crosby will be the captain for Team Canada at the Olympic hockey tournament in Sochi next month.
Hockey Canada gave the honour to the biggest name in the game and captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday, giving alternate captain status to Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks and Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, captains of their respective NHL teams, as well.
None of the appointments are surprises given the players' profiles, status in the game and the respect they have from their peers.
Crosby is the obvious choice given his stature in the game, but Toews, who lifted the Stanley Cup twice as Captain Serious in Chicago, would have been a worthy selection, as well.
In his position as the game's highest-profile player, Crosby is used to handling the demands that come with being captain of the Canadian team, attention that will follow him to Russia.
This was a pretty straight-forward decision for Hockey Canada.
It's a long way from 1998 when, with NHLers participating for the first time in the Olympic Winter Games, the captaincy was given to Philadelphia Flyers forward Eric Lindros by Philly GM Bob Clarke, Team Canada's general manager, over Wayne Gretzky. It was one in a long line of questionable decisions (look it up: Rob Zamuner in; Mark Messier out) that ultimately doomed Canada to finish out of the medals.
Crosby scored the golden goal in overtime against the United States at the Vancouver Olympics four years ago. Veteran defenceman Scott Niedermayer was the captain of that team, but he has since retired (and been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame).
When the subject of the captaincy was brought up at Team Canada's Olympic orientation camp in Calgary last August, Crosby said it would be "an honour," to wear the "C" for any team.
"Sidney, Jonathan and Shea have been leaders on the international stage in the past, as well as with their NHL teams," Team Canada coach Mike Babcock said in a statement. "These three players will be at the forefront of our efforts in Sochi, but we are confident we have 25 players on our roster that will lead in their own way and allow our team to be successful."