Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguin and hockey icon, is one of 14 highlighted Pittsburgh athletes as part of the Downtown Renown: Pittsburgh Sports Greats series showcasing stories as inspirational as they are amazing. Designed in collaboration with artist Gavin Benjamin, find all sports profiles windows currently on view in windows around the neighborhood.
A phenom in Canada, every NHL team hoped for the chance to draft Crosby in 2005. Playing for Rimouski of the QMJHL, Crosby was named Rookie and Player of the Year in 2004 and a first-team All-Star in both 2004 and 2005. He led the league in scoring both seasons and demonstrated the ability to dominate on the ice. The Penguins got lucky, winning the lottery to choose first and claimed Crosby as the first pick overall in the 2005 draft. The team has never looked back.
Despite playing for a team that finished 22-46-14 his rookie year, Crosby racked up 102 points (39 goals and 63 assists), the runner up for the Calder Cup claimed by Alex Ovechkin in 2005-06. His game only improved from there. In 2006-07 Crosby led the Penguins to the playoffs and led the League in scoring with 120 points (36 goals, 84 assists). His outstanding season earned him the Art Ross and Hart trophies and the Lester B. Pearson Award. Crosby’s work ethic and his level of play resulted in the captain’s “C” on his jersey in May of 2007 when he was only 19 years old. Though injuries limited his play the following year the team made it to the Stanley Cup, losing in six games to the Detroit Red Wings. But the Penguins returned to the Cup finals in 2009, winning their first championship since 1992 over the Red Wings in seven games. Crosby hoisted the Cup as the youngest captain (21) to win the prize in NHL history.
Number 87 continued to add to his legacy. In his 15 seasons the Penguins have won three Stanley Cups, 2009, 2016, and 2017. Twice named the MVP of the Series in 2016 and 2017, Crosby joined Mario Lemieux and Bernie Parent as the only players to be awarded back to back Conn Smythe trophies. He led the League in goals in 2009-10 with 51 and again in 2016-17 with 44 and captured the Art Ross for the second time with 104 points in 2013-14. Crosby has had incredible success in international play as well, scoring the gold medal winning goal for Canada in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and then winning gold again in Sochi in 2014. Named MVP in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, he led the tournament in scoring. His gold medals in the 2005 World Junior Championship and the 2015 World Championships makes Crosby the only member of the Triple Gold Club to have captained all his teams.
Crosby continues to amaze fans with his talents. No less a great than Wayne Gretzy said about him in 2016, “He has proven over and over that he’s the best player in the game today. And it seems like the more important the game, the more impact that he makes on a game.”
Learn more about the history of hockey in Pittsburgh from the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Heinz History Center.
This spotlight is a part of the Downtown Renown: Pittsburgh Sports Greats series. Learn more about the project, and look for all 14 sports profile windows in Downtown!
Arnold Palmer • Bill Mazeroski • Charles “Chuck” Cooper • Dan McCoy • Franco Harris • Honus Wagner • Joe Greene • John Woodruff • Josh Gibson • Mario Lemieux • Roberto Clemente • Suzie McConnell-Serio • Swin Cash • Sidney Crosby
📍 View this Pittsburgh Sports Great window installation at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, 237 7th Street, Downtown Pittsburgh.