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Summer with Stanley

Crosby brings Stanley Cup home for third time

Penguins captain back in Nova Scotia, shares trophy with children's hospital, veteran's chapel

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will have the Stanley Cup in his arms as he celebrates his 30th birthday Monday by participating in two parades in different provinces.

Crosby, who began his third celebration with the Stanley Cup late Saturday, will start his birthday as the grand marshal of the 122nd Natal Day Parade, which celebrates the birth of Halifax. Crosby is from nearby Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

The parade is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. ET.

Shortly after the conclusion of the parade, Crosby will take a 75-minute flight to Rimouski, Quebec, where he and the Stanley Cup will be part of a parade in his honor. Crosby played for the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League from 2003-05.

Tweet from @keeperofthecup: 5 trophies on display including the #stanleycup at the Crosby party in Nova Scotia. @NHL @HockeyHallFame @penguins

The parade in Rimouski starts at 1:15 p.m. ET and will run along the St. Lawrence River and conclude in the parking lot at Colisee Financiere Sun Life, the home of the Oceanic. Crosby is expected to address the crowd there.

"It just seemed like the best way for him to share [the Stanley Cup] with as many people as possible," said Cole Harbour resident Paul Mason, Crosby's childhood coach who assisted in arranging his plans with the Stanley Cup.

Crosby paraded the Cup through his hometown of Cole Harbour, with thousands of people lining the streets, after winning it in 2009 and again last year. Mason said he chose to participate in the Natal Day Parade this year because it fell on his birthday and he didn't want to try to host a competing parade in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Crosby and the Cup will be in the first float following a procession of military personnel.

"People from Cole Harbour can easily access it, but he also shares it with the community abroad because we know he has a pretty significant following," Mason said.

Tweet from @keeperofthecup: Sidney salutes his neighbours on the lake. #stanleycup @HockeyHallFame @NHL @penguins

Greg Hayward, the chair of the Natal Day celebrations, said the addition of Crosby and the Cup has brought the estimated number of parade attendees up to 50,000, a swell from the average crowd of between 25,000 and 35,000.

Hayward also said Tim Horton's, one of Crosby's corporate sponsors, and the Halifax Mooseheads, the local QMJHL team, have lent support to the parade this year largely because Crosby is in it.

In addition, Hayward said Lindell Wigginton, a 19-year-old Iowa State University basketball player from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, will be in the parade. Wigginton won gold with Team Canada at the FIBA U-19 World Cup last month.

"Sidney attracts people and we were told that his biggest claim was to get as many people as possible to see the Cup," Hayward said. "When he showed it in Cole Harbour, yeah several thousand people got to see it. We're anticipating it could be 50,000.

"We expect parking will be at a premium, traffic will be at a maximum, public transit will be busy and the streets lined. It's definitely going to be a fun show."

Tweet from @keeperofthecup: Everyone loves the #StanleyCup! Sid surprises kids at a local children's hospital. (Halifax, NS) @penguins @NHL @HockeyHallFame

The decision to bring the Cup to Rimouski wasn't finalized until Saturday, according to Sarah Leblond, the director of communications and marketing for the Oceanic.

"It was Sid's idea all along," Leblond said. "We heard about his interest on Saturday morning. The team came up with a scenario around noon and Sidney's team checked all the details to book their flights and everything and confirmed it later on that day. Since then, it's a whirlwind as we are settling all the details with the city and preparing everything for the parade."

This will be Crosby's first visit to Rimouski since 2005.

"I think it's a wonderful opportunity for the people of Rimouski," Mason said. "That was his home for a couple of years in junior. He's loved up there so why not share it with them as well."

Crosby spent Sunday morning and afternoon making unannounced hospital visits to share the Stanley Cup with sick children and war veterans in Halifax. He visited to the Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building and IWK Children's Hospital before a private party in his honor.

The visits were private and not attended by any media.

"That speaks to how much he loves and respects the Stanley Cup because the people who are in hospitals can't get out to see it, so to bring it to the people who can't come to him means a lot to them," said Lorelei Nicoll, a longtime Cole Harbour residents who represents Cole Harbour in the Halifax Regional Council. "He's had requests like that I'm sure, many requests for him to come and visit people, but he's going to visit people who can't come to him. That's really special.

"He really respects that Cup and it's more about that than it is him, but it does become him. He wants to celebrate the Cup. He wants to celebrate with the broader community."

Tweet from @keeperofthecup: Sid visits a Veteran's Retirement home (Halifax, NS) #stanleycup @penguins @NHL @HockeyHallFame

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