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NHL.com hangs with Crosby and the Cup

Friday, 08.07.2009 / 6:00 AM / Crosby Stanley Cup Visit

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

A great day
08.07.2009 / 8:06 PM ET

Asked what it's like for the dream to become reality, Crosby said it's, "bigger and better I could have ever dreamed."
 
I'm back in my hotel room now unwinding from an incredible day. Sid is not yet finished, though. He's on a private cruise now with close family members and friends, a nice way for him to finish his whirlwind day. We'll meet up with Sid again Saturday morning at the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame, where he'll be honored with an exhibit. I don't have all the details on that yet, but I will be blogging from it though the posts likely won't go up right away due to staffing back in New York.
 
As for today, Crosby was almost poetic in talking about what it meant to him. The parade route, he said, brought back memories of his childhood.
 
"Just going through Cole Harbour, I was thinking about all the times I had run through that area or get up early and drive through there," he said. "Those were all the things that came back to me as we were on the parade route. Seeing all the signs, you can't really measure how much it means to you. Whether I won a Cup or not, I am who I am today because I worked hard and sacrificed a lot, but it's a nice reward for everyone to feel part of it and bring it back here."
 
He called the day "an adrenaline rush" and was amazed that everywhere he went something was new, different and amazing.
 
"You just keep having fun with it," he said. "Starting off was pretty awesome. It was my first time ever in a helicopter and they flew me over my house, where I grew up. That was a highlight for sure.
 
"The Cup comes off the plane and I'm jumping on a helicopter and flying onto a Navy ship. To see the reaction there was pretty emotional. I met a lot of men and women who serve our country and that's a pretty neat thing to be able to be part.
 
"Everything has been fun," he continued. "Going to the hospital and seeing that many kids and every single one was able to get a picture with the Cup. That was very important. Obviously the reception here (at Cole Harbour Place)…I knew there were tons of support here but that was way more than I could have imagined."
 
He said it truly hit him when he made the turn toward Cole Harbour Place and passed a strip mall with the Subway, grocery store and Tim Horton's -- three places he frequented as a kid growing up in Cole Harbour.
 
"When I made the turn, that was incredible," he said. "I don't know how many deep and there were people up on the hill. I used to go (to that strip mall) all the time and to see it different like that, it was like a dream. That was really neat seeing that."
 
More from Crosby tomorrow. For now, have a great night.

Sid wraps up whirlwind day
08.07.2009 / 7:02 PM ET

Sid just met the media and said the day has been incredible and bigger and better than he envisioned.

I will have more on his thoughts later tonight.

Dream come true
08.07.2009 / 6:38 PM ET

Andrew Newton, who grew up down the street from Sid and played in the game today, said he just realized his dream of playing for the Cup.

A friendly twirl
08.07.2009 / 6:17 PM ET

Being a good friend Sid let them all take a twirl with it.

When he raised it the smile on his face was reminiscent of when Bettman handed it to him in Detroit.

Sid wins the Cup... again
08.07.2009 / 6:09 PM ET

Of course, Sid and his 8 buddies played for the Cup.

And of course, Sid's team won. The final was 7-3 and they got to lift the Cup and pose for pics.

Cup-worthy save
08.07.2009 / 5:40 PM ET

Crosby just went down on his right hip and stacked the pads to make a save.

By the way, there has to be 3,000 people still here watching. The hill is packed.

Star attraction
08.07.2009 / 5:30 PM ET

Spectators are lining the fence at least four deep to see Sid play goal with his buddies. Pat Brisson, Sid's agent is here, too.

Different positions
08.07.2009 / 5:27 PM ET

Max is not played due to his shoulder surgery last month, and Sid is in full goalie gear.

A quick game
08.07.2009 / 5:20 PM ET

Sid and Max are lacing up rollerblades now for a quick game of ball hockey on the tennis courts here. Thousands of spectators have made their way down for it.

Getting into his head
08.07.2009 / 5:03 PM ET

What was the very first thing that went through your mind when you won the Cup?

"Is this really happening?" Crosby answered.

Numbers game
08.07.2009 / 4:55 PM ET

Who is the next 50-in-50 player?

Talbot said, "Sid, only if he puts a curve on his stick."

"I have to get 50 in 82 first."

Both players answered Evgeni Malkin.

Nothing changes
08.07.2009 / 4:51 PM ET

What rituals do you have before the game?

Talbot said, "This guy next to me is crazy with supersutions. I can't even go into them all..."

For the record, Sid puts everything on the right side first, and doesn't let anyone touch his stick. He said it's amazing, because nothing changes from game to game.

Un-shared information

08.07.2009 / 4:45 PM ET

Who is the toughest defenseman to play against?

"I don't want to share that and give him the satisfaction."

Q & A Time
08.07.2009 / 4:42 PM ET

Sid is now doing a fan Q & A with Max Talbot. He has already been asked about playoff beards, superstitions, and even a direct question about how many goals he scored when he was 8 years old. "I dont know, maybe a hundred."

One person wanted to know if her felt the vibe of Cole Harbour during the playoffs.

"I absolutely did."

Peaceful minutes

08.07.2009 / 4:22 PM ET

Sid is finally - finally - getting a chance to relax and chill in an air conditioned room with one of his grandmothers and a few others. Quiet time is good.

Wake-up juice
08.07.2009 / 3:55 PM ET

Sid is still signing and taking pictures. He looks physically exhausted. Can you blame him? Someone needs to get this guy some caffeine. He needs it. Still lots to do.

A great big party
08.07.2009 / 3:39 PM ET

Max Talbot: "This is like Woodstock, only for Sidney Crosby."

The wrong spirit
08.07.2009 / 3:38 PM ET

Just spotted some guy wearing a Flyers jersey, but I don't think Crosby has seen him yet. At least, I hope not. He's definitely wearing the wrong colors to this party.

Everyone wants a piece
08.07.2009 / 3:30 PM ET

Its indescribable how many autographs Crosby has given out today. He can't go five feet without being mobbed. He is now taking more photos with the fans and the Cup.

His own holiday
08.07.2009 / 3:15 PM ET

They have proclaimed today Sidney Crosby Day in Cole Harbour. I know, big surprise, right?

Almost the real thing
08.07.2009 / 2:55 PM ET

As the elated and loud crowd wait to hear from the star of the show, they are being treated to a video montage of Crosby. We are backstage with Sidney now.

Live on stage
08.07.2009 / 2:49 PM ET

We have arrived at Cole Harbour Place and the just sang 'Happy Birthday' to Sid. He is about to address them now from a big stage flanked by two video boards.

There to see the Penguin
08.07.2009 / 2:31 PM ET

We are arriving at Cole Harbour Place and the report was true. The place is a zoo. I should say the cops have done a great job with crowd control.

Everyone and their mother
08.07.2009 / 2:22 PM ET

A cop just told us there are 50,000-plus here. I asked how many people live in Cole Harbour, and he said, "This is the whole Maritimes, brother."

Getting a following
08.07.2009 / 2:18 PM ET

As we pass people they start walking behind the parade and now we are driving with thousands of people walking right beside and behind us. Just crazy.

'Kid' outdoes Sir Paul
08.07.2009 / 2:08 PM ET

Paul McCartney played for 25,000 at the Halifax Commons on July 11. There are way more people here in Cole Harbour today. Our local driver Barb cant believe it.

No more 'Kid'
08.07.2009 / 1:55 PM ET

Just saw a sign that read, "No more Sid the Kid. You are Sid the Man." Today in Cole Harbour he most definitely is the man.

Pride and proposals
08.07.2009 / 1:49 PM ET

The sign wecoming you to town reads, "Welcome to Cole Harbour, Home of Sidney Crosby. Congratulations Sidney." Just spotted a girl holding a 'Marry Me' sign.

Everybody joining in
08.07.2009 / 1:47 PM ET

People are on building roofs cheering. Thousands of people are lining Cole Harbour Rd. A church changed its marquee to read "Sid, you've made us proud."

Making the march

08.07.2009 / 1:35 PM ET

Its one thing to be here for the parade, but NHL.com is now riding in the parade. Its the only way to get down to the finish line. The roads are all blocked.

Sid-tracked
08.07.2009 / 1:25 PM ET

The parade is set to start and the band is playing but Sid had to take some moments to sign autographs and play with his dog, Samantha. She rocks.

Out-of-car Chorus

08.07.2009 / 1:14 PM ET

Crosby popped out of the car and the crowd started singing happy birthday to him.

Everything is in order
08.07.2009 / 1:13 PM ET

We drove up Cole Harbour Road to the start of the parade and the streets are lined with screaming people. There is a band that will be walking ahead of Sid.

Already packed
08.07.2009 / 12:58 PM ET

We have gotten word that the area by Cole Harbour Place where the parade ends is already swimming with thousands of people. This parade is going to be crazy.

Sid has left the building
08.07.2009 / 12:33 PM ET

Sid and the Cup are leaving the hospital now and are en route to the parade. He spent time with many patients and never stopped smiling. He is having a blast.

Kid's play
08.07.2009 / 12:02 PM ET

Right now Sid is taking photos and talking with 70 or so kids in one of the playrooms. He is remarkable with these kids, who sang happy birthday to him.

Goodwill and gifts
08.07.2009 / 11:40 AM ET

Crosby is meeting with a group of kids and a sick boy named Jacob hugged the Cup and gave Crosby a birthday gift. They wore hats to celebrate.

Entourage
08.07.2009 / 11:27 AM ET

Crosby and the Cup (and his entourage) are in the childrens hospital. They arrived through an underground entrance but fans are everywhere.

He shoots, he scores

08.07.2009 / 11:06 AM ET

Right now Crosby is at Citadel Hill shooting off the cannon to signify high noon. He'll be arriving at the childrens hospital soon. A crowd is waiting for him.

Pen-ning their names
08.07.2009 / 10:26 AM ET

One thing I forgot to mention is that Crosby and Talbot each signed the Sea King helicopter they flew to the dockyard in. That's an innovative autograph.

Spreading cheer
08.07.2009 / 10:17 AM ET

We are off to a local children's hospital.

Convoy departing
08.07.2009 / 10:16 AM ET

Talbot is in a light armored vehicle and carrying the Prince of Wales Trophy. Troy Crosby and Sid's sister also boarded a LAV. The convoy is leaving the jetty.

Reporting for duty
08.07.2009 / 10:13 AM ET

Crosby and the Cup just boarded a light armored vehicle. He is wearing a helmet with the No. 87 on it. Sid showed the crowd the 87 with a big smile on his face.

Operation Homecoming

08.07.2009 / 9:45 AM ET

The crew of the HMCS Preserver is calling today's event Operation Homecoming.

Fan's delight
08.07.2009 / 9:35 AM ET

"I am so nervous. I am in shock. I have to tell my dad about this as soon as I get home," Meagan Lunn, 16, said.

Military family
08.07.2009 / 9:30 AM ET

Walsh brought Meagan and Ryan Lunn to the stage for a pic with Crosby and the Cup. Their father, petty officer Mike Lunn, is in Afganistan now.

Commemorative coins and cake
08.07.2009 / 9:18 AM ET

Crosby was given 2 commemorative military coins and was told to put one at center ice in vancouver in february. They also had a birthday cake for him.

Dream fulfilled and then some
08.07.2009 / 9:12 AM ET

"I have always dreamed of winning the cup and have always thought of what I wanted to do. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be this big."

Sid takes the stage
08.07.2009 / 9:10 AM ET

Crosby is on a stage now with the Cup and the Minister of Defense. Family members and former coaches are surrounding him.

Happy Birthday

08.07.2009 / 9:09 AM ET

A huge crowd has gathered on the docks and Crosby just raised the cup for them all to see. The crowd just sang happy birthday to him.

Deeply honored

08.07.2009 / 8:53 AM ET

"We are deeply honored. To have him come back is beyond words. It speaks to the true gospel of Sidney Crosby," Lt. Cmndr. Jim Hawkins on Hmcs Preserver.

Grand welcome

08.07.2009 / 8:42 AM ET

Crosby is on board the HMCS Preserver and shaking hands and signing autographs for military personnel. A few thousand people are lining the dock. Its just nuts.

Penguin takes flight

08.07.2009 / 8:23 AM ET

We (myself and NHL videographers Matt Coe and Tim O'Brien) are driving toward the naval ship and above us in the distance is Crosby's chopper. It's a race now.

'Couldn't ask for a better gift'
08.07.2009 / 8:08 AM ET

"It's a good day," Crosby told NHL.com. "It's my birthday and I couldn't ask for a better gift. I am happy to share the Cup with everyone here."

Prince of Wales takes the road
08.07.2009 / 7:50 AM ET

The Prince of Wales Trophy leaves by way of van with HHOF staff, but the Cup, Crosby, his dad Troy, and Talbot boarded the chopper bound for the naval ship.

Smile for the camera
08.07.2009 / 7:34 AM ET

After taking photos with the Cup and military personnel Crosby gets a safety briefing for chopper and gets the gear on to take off...

The Cup arrives
08.07.2009 / 7:32 AM ET

At 8:20 the Cup arrives. Crosby and an NHL camera crew go out to meet it. Max Talbot accompanied the Cup, which was in Montreal with Fleury last nite.

So much to do ...
08.07.2009 / 7:30 AM ET

"It's going to be a busy day but a fun day," Crosby told NHL.com. "We have a lot planned in a 12 hour window."

Helicopter touches down
08.07.2009 / 6:47 AM ET

The Sea King military helicopter that will take Crosby to the naval ship arrives at the Atlantic Skyservice gate at Stanfield Airport at 7:47 am.

The day begins

08.07.2009 / 6:00 AM ET

At 7 am here in Halifax we are on our way to the airport to meet Crosby and the Cup. It is the start of what should be a long, interesting and fun day.

NHL.com is on the ground
08.06.2009 / 8:50 PM ET

At 9:50 local time, NHL.com touched down in Halifax, N.S. The Cup doesnt arrive til tomorrow morning, but we are ready and i am guessing Crosby is as well.

Crosby's big day almost here
08.06.2009 / 3:45 PM ET

The Stanley Cup arrives in Halifax, N.S. Friday morning. Keeper of the Cup Phil Pritchard will de-plane at Stanfield International Airport and waiting for him and the world's most famous trophy will be arguably the world's most famous hockey player…and, of course, NHL.com.
 
Sidney Crosby gets his day (actually two since he is the captain) with the Cup on what just happens to be his 22nd birthday and we'll be there to document it all with videos, short and long blog entries and stories.
 
For the middle of the summer, this is a plush assignment.
 
Crosby's schedule is full and begins in earnest at 8:30 local time Friday morning. I better get my rest tonight.
 
After greeting the Cup at the airport, Crosby is expected to take a helicopter ride to the flight deck of the HMCS Preserver where he will meet a group of sailors, soldiers, airmen, airwomen and civilian employees as well as several dignitaries. He will eat breakfast on the ship with some former coaches before leaving to take the Cup to a local children's hospital.
 
From the hospital, Crosby will head out for the main event.
 
A parade for him and the Cup is planned for 2:30 local time in Cole Harbour, his hometown. Reports out of the area insist at least 40,000 people are expected to line the parade route and Crosby will address the crowd from Cole Harbour Place.
 
A Fan Zone is set up at Cole Harbour Place and events will begin as soon as Crosby leaves the stage. Fans will have an opportunity to take a photo with the Cup and a lucky 87 (what a number, eh?) will get the chance to take a photo with Crosby and the Cup.
 
Items from Crosby's childhood will be on display as Cole Harbour has put together a makeshift Crosby Hall of Fame. The Sam Roberts Band will be jamming as well.
 
It's the party of the century in Cole Harbour and NHL.com will be there. We'll also be hanging with the Kid on Saturday, so keep hitting that refresh button.


Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis