It is the rarest of honors for Sidney Crosby.
Rimouski Oceanic raised his No. 87 to the rafters before its game against Sherbrooke on Friday, and the QMJHL announced it will be retiring Crosby's number leaguewide during the 2020-21 season.
"I did not expect that at all," Crosby said. "I was honored to have [my number] retired here in Rimouski. That was an honor itself, but to know it's going to be leaguewide, I didn't see that coming at all."
Crosby had 120 goals and 303 points in 121 games in two seasons for Rimouski from 2003-05 before the Penguins selected him with the No. 1 pick of the 2005 NHL Draft. He was ranked behind Mario Lemieux and Guy Lafleur on a list of the 50 greatest players in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League history this spring.
Crosby is the only QMJHL player to have his number retired leaguewide, which capped the already special night.
Each Rimouski player wore No. 87 during warmups, and the Oceanic fans gave him an eight-plus-minute standing ovation before he gave a speech to the capacity crowd.
"I felt like I was 16 again," Crosby said. "The people here are incredible, and that was a great example of how amazing they are, and yeah it's pretty overwhelming."
LNH.com staff writer Guillaume Lepage contributed to this report