Sidney Crosby named Team Canada captain for World Cup
Jonathan Toews, Shea Weber to serve as alternates during tournamentNHL.com @NHLdotcom
TORONTO/NEW YORK -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby will be Team Canada captain at the World Cup of Hockey 2016, Hockey Canada announced Thursday.
Crosby, 29, has led the Penguins to two Stanley Cup championships, including last season, since becoming their captain during the 2007-08 season. He has 938 points (338 goals, 600 assists) in 707 NHL games.
Crosby became a member of the Triple Gold Club when he captained Canada to a gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Championship. He won a gold medal with Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and 2014 Sochi Olympics. Crosby was coached at the Olympics by Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock, who will coach Team Canada at the World Cup.
Crosby also played for Canada at the 2006 World Championship, and the 2004 and 2005 IIHF World Junior Championship. In 43 games for Canada at the World Juniors, World Championships and Olympics, Crosby has 51 points (25 goals, 26 assists).
"I think it's really special," Crosby told NHL.com last month about competing at the World Cup. "Any time you can compete internationally, it's pretty cool. To have Canada host it, to be Canadian and play in Canada, knowing how special that is, I thought about excitement. I'm excited for the opportunity to play for Canada.
"That being said, there's also that sense of having to get ready because it's not typical, like in the Olympics, when you're in midseason and everything kind of flows right in. This kind of changes things a little bit being at the start of the season. It's exciting. It gives you something to look forward to right away. It's not the typical grind of training camp, fitness tests and all that stuff. That's not what you're thinking about now. Now you're thinking about playing really meaningful games right away and that's pretty fun, that's something you look forward to."
Crosby was a finalist for the Hart Trophy last season when he had 85 points (36 goals, 49 assists) in 80 regular-season games. He had six goals and 13 assists in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games, helping the Penguins win the championship, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the postseason.
Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber will be Team Canada's alternate captains. Toews, 28, has won three Stanley Cup championships as Blackhawks captain (2010, 2013, 2015). He has 564 points (251 goals, 313 assists) in 645 NHL games.
Weber, 31, was captain of the Nashville Predators before being traded for defenseman P.K. Subban on June 29. He has 443 points (166 goals, 277 assists) in 763 NHL games. Weber will be an alternate captain for the Canadiens this season.
"It's going to be an exciting time for hockey and a great way to celebrate our game, so we're excited about that," Babcock said. "As far as Sid, [Toews] and [Weber], like [Team Canada general manager Doug Armstrong] said, they're great, great men who have distinguished themselves not only with their ability but with their relentless drive to get better and for success and to help their individual games, but to also help Canada medal in the past or win Cups for that matter.
"They're fantastic guys. They know me. I know them. They know what's expected. And probably the thing that separates them from a lot of players is, they play their best in the biggest moments. So for them to lead a bunch of leaders, because everyone on our team is capable of being a captain, for them to be a bunch of leaders is going to be important for our group to have success."
Eight teams -- Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Europe, Team Finland, Team North America, Team Russia, Team Sweden and Team USA -- will compete in the two-week tournament. All games will be played at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
For more information on the World Cup of Hockey 2016, visit www.wch2016.com. #WCH2016