THIS DATE IN HISTORY: July 30
2005: Sidney Crosby officially becomes a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins when he's taken with the No. 1 pick at the 2005 NHL Draft in Ottawa.
The Penguins select Crosby, a center from Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League billed as a once-in-a-generation player, eight days after winning a special draft lottery. With the 2004-05 season canceled, the NHL puts all 30 teams into a weighted lottery; the Penguins, last in the standings in 2003-04, are one of four teams to have three balls in the lottery and get the No. 1 pick.
Four years later, at 21, Crosby becomes the youngest captain in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup. He wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2016 and again in 2017 after helping the Penguins become the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 to win back-to-back championships.
The 2005 draft also produces such future stars as goaltender Carey Price (No. 5, Montreal Canadiens) and center Anze Kopitar (No. 11, Los Angeles Kings). The last pick in the draft, No. 230, is used by the Nashville Predators to take Patric Hornqvist, a forward from Sweden who scores 30 goals as a rookie in 2009-10 and later helps the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017.
1973: Markus Naslund, a three-time First Team NHL All-Star, is born in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden. The Penguins take Naslund at No. 16 in the 1991 NHL Draft, but his career doesn't take off until after he's traded to the Vancouver Canucks on March 20, 1996. He scores 41 goals for the first of three consecutive 40-goal seasons in 2000-01 and is named to the NHL All-Star First Team in 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04. Naslund retires in 2009 after one season with the New York Rangers. Of his 395 goals in 1,117 NHL games, 346 come with the Canucks, who retire his No. 19 on Dec. 11, 2010.
1998: Kevin Lowe, a six-time Stanley Cup winner, retires after 19 seasons as a player and is named an assistant coach with the Edmonton Oilers. Lowe, the first player drafted by the Oilers after they join the NHL from the World Hockey Association in 1979, plays on all five of Edmonton's championship teams from 1984-90. The Rangers acquire him in 1992, and he's a regular on New York's Cup-winning team in 1994. Lowe becomes Edmonton's coach in 1999, is promoted to general manager in 2000 and to president of hockey operations in 2008. In 2015, he is named vice chair and alternate governor of Oilers Entertainment Group.