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Crosby 'happy to have' Kessel, has advice for McDavid

by Mike Battaglino

Sidney Crosby is used to facing high expectations with the Pittsburgh Penguins but said Thursday they might be even higher after trading for Phil Kessel this month.

"It's a nice addition to our team, obviously," Crosby told CTV News Atlantic. "He's a great scorer, he brings a lot, and offensively he's going to help any team. So we're happy to have him, and I think from talking to him he seems like he's excited, and I think it'll be something that everyone's looking forward to this season, a lot of anticipation."

Kessel was traded to the Penguins by the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1, bringing five 30-goal seasons, including 181 goals over the past six.

It is unknown if Kessel, a right wing, will play with Crosby as his center, or with Evgeni Malkin. Either way, Kessel is expected to help the Penguins improve on last season, when they finished fourth in the Metropolitan Division and were eliminated in the Eastern Conference First Round by the New York Rangers in five games.

"The season's long, but at the same time when you get to the offseason, you're usually itchin' to get right back out there, so you don't sit around for too long; you just want to prepare and get ready for the next year," Crosby said. "Like I said, there's a lot of anticipation with Phil coming, and with our team always having high expectations, so you want to be ready from the start."

Crosby was speaking at the Danny Gallivan Golf Tournament. He was asked if he had any advice for Connor McDavid, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Edmonton Oilers who is considered the best prospect since Crosby entered the NHL in 2005.

"Just enjoy it; it goes by quick," Crosby said. "It's hard to believe, when I think about when I was in that position, it was 10 years ago, so it goes by really quick, and I think the main thing is, when you're that age you're just so worried about proving yourself and getting to the NHL and doing those kind of things that sometimes you forget to just kind of live in the moment and enjoy it because it does go by quick. He's got a lot of expectations, but he seems like he's able to handle it pretty well and should do great."

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