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How Sidney Crosby turned Pittsburgh into Hockeytown

From the Toronto Globe and Mail's James Mirtle:

They call them Sidney Crosby’s Little Penguins.

One thousand kids, aged 4 to 8, who every year for the past four years have received full hockey equipment paid for by the Pittsburgh Penguins, their 25-year-old captain and several sponsors.

The numbers may sound like a drop in the bucket in Canada, where one in 10 kids are already playing, but they matter in a place like Pittsburgh, where even when the Penguins have ruled, the game has never really flourished at the minor-hockey level.

But the combined effect of Crosby and Co. providing free gear and instruction has brought a quick and dramatic change that landscape in this football-crazed city, to the point that there are now 120-per-cent more children aged 10 and under playing in Western Pennsylvania than even five years earlier.

A region with fewer than four million people, in other words, has accounted for 15 per cent of the growth in youth hockey in the United States, outpacing every other state.

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Comments

TeamDub's avatar

Blasphemy.

Posted by TeamDub from The gratch. on 03/02/13 at 08:41 AM ET

Avatar

Pretty awesome.  Hopefully Pittsburgh can keep up this growth in youth hockey regardless of support for the NHL team (though hopefully they can keep that up for a while as well).

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 03/02/13 at 09:40 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Here’s the size of the mountain,sir Sid

hockey per capita by state

Posted by MoreShoot on 03/02/13 at 10:00 AM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

Trolling for hits.  Joke.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from Where the GM likes his team. on 03/02/13 at 10:12 AM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

Trolling for hits.  Joke.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from Where free agents no longer want to go. on 03/02/13 at 09:12 AM ET

Just plain old trolling.  Double joke.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 03/02/13 at 10:22 AM ET

Avatar

I have to agree it is amazing, especially since Sidney is such a little bitch. The fact a black and blue city like Pittsburgh can admire the ultimate whiner of all time is truly amazing.

Posted by timbits on 03/02/13 at 12:29 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

How Sidney Crosby turned Pittsburgh into Hockeytown

LOL!!

Tony, you’ve lost a step since you’ve been gone. At one time you were good at hiding the fact you desired all 19 of the people at A2Y to post on your blog. Now, you’re practically begging.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 03/02/13 at 01:00 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

They call them Sidney Crosby’s Little Penguins.

the opportunities are endless

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 03/02/13 at 01:02 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

Well, he is the best.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 03/02/13 at 05:06 PM ET

Flashtastick56's avatar

The f*cking arrogance of you idiot Red Wings fans is baffling.  Truly baffling.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Meriden, CT on 03/02/13 at 08:23 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

The f*cking arrogance of you idiot Red Wings fans is baffling.  Truly baffling.

Posted by Flashtastick56 from Milford, CT on 03/02/13 at 07:23 PM ET

Huh?

Well, he is the best.

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 03/02/13 at 04:06 PM ET

Weird, isn’t it?

Tony knew what he was doing when posting this. Plain and simple.

And frankly, I’m fine with it. I like the hate.

 

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/02/13 at 09:33 PM ET

Avatar

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/02/13 at 08:33 PM ET

Don’t know why you guys get so upset about it.  It’s just a marketing slogan.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 03/02/13 at 10:52 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Don’t know why you guys get so upset about it.  It’s just a marketing slogan.

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 03/02/13 at 09:52 PM ET

Like I said-

And frankly, I’m fine with it. I like the hate.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/02/13 at 08:33 PM ET

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 03/02/13 at 11:16 PM ET

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About The Confluence

Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

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