It feels like just yesterday that 'Sid the Kid' broke into the NHL as an 18-year-old back in 2005. Time has flown by so fast, and Crosby has grown up so much.
He is now entering his 13th season as a 30-year-old who has won three Stanley Cups (in addition, of course, to a ton of other awards and accomplishments). And after a second straight year of celebrations, he's not ready for them to end anytime soon.
"Growing up as a kid you want to play in the NHL, you want to win the Stanley Cup," Crosby said Monday from his native Nova Scotia, where he was hosting the trophy for a second straight day. "I've been fortunate enough to do that. It's still something that pushes me every day, to be able to win that, to be able to have these kinds of experiences. You have a window to be able to do this. It's not something you take for granted. You have a window and I'm just trying to make the most of that window."
While the last couple of days have been about celebrating, he also took some time for reflecting when he met with the media on Monday, his 30th birthday.
Crosby was asked about what it felt like to turn 30, and how reaching a milestone birthday will affect his mindset, if at all. After joking that the biggest difference is that he has "lots" of gray and white hairs, Crosby said that taking it a year at a time has always been the best approach for him, and that's not going to change.
"I think you just try to approach it year by year and see what happens and how things go and react accordingly," he said. "I think you just go with the same mindset. You can never really plan a lot of these things out. You go in with the right mindset and attitude to give yourself the best chance.
"But it's amazing how fast time goes by," he continued. "When you do frame it like that I think it makes you realize it doesn't get any easier. That's why things like this, you have to really enjoy it."
He added that there's always going to be challenges regardless of one's age, so it's important to keep perspective.
"Hopefully it's not something where you turn 30 and all of a sudden you're trying to change everything," he said. "I think if you have the right approach, that's what's going to help later on, especially. I think I've had that. You don't want to change too much but you have to understand rest becomes a little more important, that kind of thing. I've always adjusted and tried to evaluate things and I'll do the same."
Despite getting older, Crosby has continued to elevate his game and keep his status as the best player in the world, winning two Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP in both championship runs. While he hesitated to say his game has gotten better the last two years, he did concede he's been able to use his experience in a positive way
"There are so many different factors, but you should be able to learn from certain things and gain experience. I think with age hopefully my game becomes a little bit more smarter. Things like speed, things like that, we all know typically that's not something that is going to last as long, but if you can make up for it in other areas then you give yourself a better chance to have success."
Crosby knows it's not going to be easy to win a third straight Stanley Cup - that's an understatement. But everyone said it wouldn't be easy for them to win a second straight Stanley Cup, which led to head coach Mike Sullivan challenging them to write their own story. They can do that again this year.
"I have a pretty good understanding of how hard two is. I can't imagine what three must be like," Crosby said. "I'd love to find out. It's going to be tough, but we're going to training camp with that in mind. It'll be a big challenge, but why not."
Huge thanks to Dan Rosen of NHL.com for providing the transcript of Crosby's press conference