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Summer with Stanley

Crosby celebrates birthday with Stanley Cup at Natal Day Parade

Penguins captain turned 30 Monday, also took trophy to youth hockey camp

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby spent part of his 30th birthday as the grand marshal of the 122nd Halifax-Dartmouth Natal Day Parade on Monday.

Crosby, who grew up in nearby Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, and lives in the region during the offseason, had the Stanley Cup with him. He was followed by a float that had the Conn Smythe Trophy, the Rocket Richard Trophy, the Prince of Wales Trophy and the World Cup of Hockey 2016 championship trophy. He won all of them last season, including the Prince of Wales Trophy, Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy for the second straight year.

 

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"It's special," Crosby said prior to the start of the parade during a press conference at Halifax Forum. "Any time you can bring it home is special, but back to back, it's so difficult to do. And to be able to share that with everyone is unique. I just try to enjoy it as best as I can."

Crosby did that privately before the start of the parade by surprising several children participating in a hockey camp at Halifax Forum. He allowed them to see the Stanley Cup and touch it. He told the children to make sure they work hard because it could be them doing this one day.

Video: Dan Rosen on Crosby's trophy tour

"The things that are kind of just random that fall into place are probably the best memories, the best moments," Crosby said. "You try not to plan too much, just try to wait and see the reactions. Regardless if you're a hockey fan or not, [the Stanley Cup] just kind of demands attention so everyone flocks to it really quickly."

During the parade, Crosby stood in the bed of a pickup truck driven by Paul Mason, who coached him when he was a child, and waved to the crowd lining the streets of Halifax and Dartmouth. He occasionally lifted the Cup above his head as the crowd cheered, with many screaming out birthday wishes.

The crowd at the end of the parade, by Sullivan's Pond in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, greeted Crosby by singing "Happy Birthday" to him.

Video: Fans serenade Sidney Crosby with 'Happy Birthday'

"I try to appreciate it and soak it up as much as I can," Crosby said. "I try to share it with as many people as I can because I know there is so much support here and so many people that would love to be in this position. That's the best way I can describe it."

Crosby didn't hang around at the end of the parade because he had to quickly go to the airport to board a private plane that took him to Rimouski, Quebec, where he was honored with another parade Monday afternoon.

This will be the first time Crosby is bringing the Stanley Cup to Rimouski, where he played two seasons (2003-05) for the Rimouski Oceanic of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Crosby added the Rimouski trip to his itinerary with the Cup on Saturday.

"It was kind of a last-minute thing," he said. "My assistant coach from Rimouski was in town and he said that they had some time if we could make it work. They found a way to make it happen. It'll be cool to bring it back there. That's a place that I have a lot of great memories and I am sure people will be pretty happy to see it."

Video: The best of Sidney Crosby as he turns 30!

Crosby received the Stanley Cup late Saturday night. He made unannounced visits to the IWK Children's Hospital and Camp Hill Veteran's Memorial Building on Sunday to share the Cup with the kids and war veterans. He also made a few more unannounced stops at some local businesses and took pictures with several families.

"The best part about it is just seeing everyone's reaction regardless if they're a hockey fan or not," Crosby said. "Especially some of the veterans [Sunday], they were pretty impressed. They were talking about those Montreal teams, Toronto teams. Every second one on some of those rings [on the Cup] is Montreal and they were pretty happy to see that. It was fun to share it with them. They've got a lot of great memories of some of those teams."

Crosby also had a private party in his honor at his home on Grand Lake in nearby Enfield, Nova Scotia, on Sunday.

The Stanley Cup will travel to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, after returning from Rimouski so Andy O'Brien, Crosby's longtime trainer and the Penguins director of sports science, can have his personal time with it.

Crosby will resume his offseason training and gear up for his return to Pittsburgh in late August. Training camp opens in September.

"Once the Cup leaves tonight it sets in a little bit more," Crosby said. "Yeah, it's fun to celebrate it and enjoy it and you have a couple days, but then you get ready for the next one. I think you crave that as a player. You like having that routine, that structure back. I'm excited to get back into that mode."

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