Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 08/29/13 at 12:03 AM ET
The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek spoke with Sidney Crosby at the conclusion of Hockey Canada's Olympic orientation camp in Calgary. While Crosby is no longer a "kid," the gentleman who scored Canada's "golden goal" in 2010 suggested that he's approaching the 2014 Olympics from a very different perspective:
“If I look back to last time, I was probably more in awe and trying to learn from those guys,” Crosby said after the 72-hour orientation camp came to a close with a farewell dinner that also included the women’s Olympic hockey team. “I don’t think [taking on a leadership role] is a conscious decision you make, it’s just a natural progression. You played on the team before; you understand things a little better. It’s a comfort level. It’s a totally different mindset … going into your first Olympic camp and your second.”
Crosby won a Stanley Cup in the spring of 2009, and an Olympic gold medal in the winter of 2010, and nothing since.
Time passes quickly in the NHL as Crosby prepares for his ninth season. Wasn’t it just yesterday he was the “new” face of the NHL? Now, the new faces belong to Steven Stamkos and John Tavares, Taylor Hall and Matt Duchene, Alex Pietrangelo and Jordan Eberle, all born in the 1990s, all stars in their own right.
“I can feel it, it’s true,” Crosby said. “The game just feels like it’s getting younger and younger. My first year, there weren’t that many 18-year-olds. It was kind of rare to see. Now, every team almost has at least one that makes their team at a young age. With the speed of the game, and it becoming more of a youthful game, that’s normal. It’s kind of funny and a little different position for me to be in.”
Duhatschek continues, and he notes that Crosby doesn't feel that his spot on the team is secure:
On their way out the door, Canada head coach Mike Babcock made a point of telling all the players their play in the first three months of the NHL season would largely determine who makes the team. It was a point Crosby reiterated, too.
“I think we’re going to see here in the first half, who really shows they want to be a part of it and that’s what it’ll be based on,” he said. “I don’t think the team is even close to being made.”
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