‘We like to see Sidney do well’
Minor hockey coach proud to see Sidney Crosby hit 1,000 career points
His former player was expected to cross an elite threshold in the world of professional hockey, but it was no surprise to Sidney Crosby’s childhood coach.
“We knew he was pretty special when he was younger,” Paul Mason said in an interview before Thursday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets where No. 87 became the 86th player in NHL history to score 1,000 points or more.
“When he kept overcoming those obstacles every time, and always going beyond what people thought he would do … I guess nothing surprises us. We’re just so proud of him and the way he represents our community so well … It’s just a sense of pride.”
Not the least of those obstacles has been Crosby’s health. Just a few years ago, his future in the league was uncertain, dogged by concussion problems. Mason said the Cole Harbour community was worried back then, but always optimistic that the hometown boy would pull through.
“In life, everyone gets those moments that make you wonder, and that might have been one of those moments for him,” he said.
Crosby told the Associated Press a few weeks ago that back then, he didn’t know what his future held.
“A lot of things go through your head as far as playing again, getting to the level you think you can get to,” he said. “A lot of sitting around time, kind of waiting. It’s hard for that to not kind of cross your mind.”
Now Crosby’s joining a list with the game’s greats. He’ll be the eighth active NHLer to join the club, the third Nova Scotian, and the first from the Halifax area.
Mason said he doesn’t worry too much about milestones like this one because he doesn’t think Crosby does either.
“Individual accolades and accomplishments are nice, but we like to see Sidney do well, and I think doing well for him is his team getting a chance to win the Cup,” he said.
“He’s already established himself as one of the greatest of all time … Finding him on that list isn’t a shocker. He’s on everyone’s list in the top 100.”
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby acknowledges fans as he skates back to the bench after assisting on a goal by Chris Kunitz, for the 1,000th point of his NHL career, during the first period against the Winnipeg Jets in a hockey game in Pittsburgh, Thursday.