Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sidney Crosby : Countdown to July 1, 2012

Only 2052 days to go!

According to a Sidney Crosby biographer, that is when it is assumed that upon his first day of eligibility as an UFA, he will sign with the Montreal Canadiens.
A webpage dedicated to all things Crosby, quotes the source.
In her upcoming book, "A Season With Sidney Crosby In The NHL", author Shawna Richer, gives insight to Crosby's Habs infatuation.

"Crosby, in large part because his father Troy was drafted by the team, was always a big Montreal Canadiens fan. Prior to the 2005 entry draft it was widely assumed he would have liked to have been drafted by the Canadiens. Now 19, Crosby will be eligible for free agency when he turns 25, at which point he can sign with any team".
After her year researching the book, Richer said that Montreal fans may one day see number 87 don a Habs jersey.
"He has never come right out and said it specifically but I have no doubt in my mind that he would one day like to play for the Montreal Canadiens. I think it would mean a lot to him. I think he has a lot of love for the city of Montreal", Richer has said in a recent promo for the book.

Crosby, obviously has made no secret of his love and admiration for the Canadiens since the spotlight found the phenom in the making back in 2001. While the 19 year old superstar already ranks among today's elite, he seemingly has adate with destiny.

Pencil in July 1, 2012 on your Habs calandars, diehards!

As many already know, Sidney's father Troy, a goaltender, was drafted 240th overall in 1984 by the Canadiens. Taken 51st that year by the Habs, was none other than recently inducted Hall of Famer, Patrick Roy. While Troy Crosby's fate with the Habs may have been sealeds with the latter pick, an allegiance was somehow born in a son three years later. Young Sid evidently grew up in a Habs household.

Crosby, who is as media savvy as any teenage star could be, has never made a secret of his Habs dream.

In the 2005 lottery draft that saw him awarded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Habs came narrowly close to getting their man. Maybe that should read Crosby came as close to finding the team of his dreams.

As the final six teams remained with a shot at Crosby, camera's zoomed in on the 18 year old. Nervous facial expressions and excitement were captured, while the teen sat captivated in front of his own TV screen as we all were that day, watching his own destiny unfold. With Montreal still alive in the hunt after the sixth pick, you could see a gleam in Crosby's eyes.

That gleam flushed from Crosby's face as Gary Bettman called the Montreal pick next. His disappointment was evident and appeared earth shattering while he fielded questions dealing with the four remaining hopefuls. The letdown was so obvious, questions concerning his reaction were bountiful and long lasting.

Rumours persisted that Crosby would become a difficult signing for the Penguins. He signed a three year conditional deal with a European club, that was seen as bargaining leverage with the Penguins. Others found it was the root of a fruitless ploy that would see him re-enter the draft if not traded to the Canadiens. Perhaps not wanting to become another Eric Lindros, Crosby and his agent negotiated their in short time with the Penguins organization.

It has done little to disuade the though that one day Crosby would don the cherished jersey of his youthful dreams.

When Crosby played his first game against the Canadiens, the media buzz and subsequent player reaction set the Pittsburgh brass on damage control. It has been rumoured that Crosby was told, as was the media, to tone it down on the Montreal Q and A's.

Ottawa Sun scribe Erin Nicks has alluded to this on her blog, while witnessing Crosby's reaction first hand. She's had this to say regarding Crosby's big eyes.

"For the record, I can tell you from experience that what I said is true -- I've witnessed it myself. Crosby's demeanour alters completely whenever anyone mentions Montreal in his presence. He positively glows. It doesn't matter where that team goes, because he's going to have his day in a Canadiens uniform eventually. The talented always get what they want. Hell, in this NHL, even the not-as-talented are able to get it".
While the clock struck midnight as I wrote this, it occurred to me - only 2051 days to go!


Wardo said...

You can't put a price tag on the aura that surrounds a Canadiens jersey. Toronto's uniform is up there too, but there's no debate that it's the Canadiens who possess the most extensive legacy of greatness and legend.

In my opinion, this undeniable attraction to the Shirt of Legends that will give teams like Toronto or Montreal a leg up over say, Columbus, when attracting free agents. With the playing field equalized in money terms, how does a player decide where he wants to go?

I remember seeing Crosby's face collapse when he realized he wouldn't be drafted by the Canadiens. When he stammered his way through the interviews, trying hard to be diplomatic...

He'll be a Canadien one day, I have no doubt. And what's more, he'll only be entering the peak years of his career. Age 25!

Montreal is very fortunate to be able to plan their franchise strategy six years in advance, knowing that this era's Gretzky is on his way.

But you know what, Lemieux was very unhappy with the Penguins at first, too - when he was drafted, he refused to come down from the crowd and put on the jersey. You know how that turned out.

But I think Crosby will be different. He belongs there.

Richard. Believeau. Lafleur. Crosby. It all fits.

Wardo said...

I just noticed, your little thing on the side says your blog is currently worthless.

Get on it!

reality check said...

That's just me - self depracation at it's best! And besides, I don't know how to work the damn thing!

Montreal and Toronto do have their allures when it comes to FA's, but the Habs case the drawbacks even things up. That "leg up" often turns them into a dogs fire hydrant as free agents use Montreal for leverage in deals.

Brett Hull did it to the Habs, Holik did it to the Buds. Again this year, Shanahan and Arnott were close, and again the same result.

Crosby to Montreal would soothe years of disappointment in that regard.

If I were Pens GM Shero, I would want to really know where Crosby's aspirations lie. If it is true that Montreal is in his sights for 2012, would it not make sense to start negotiating a deal with the Habs earlier, a mega deal - before players involved maxed out on salary and the pens max out of cap room.

Say the Habs offered 4 or 5 roster players and picks, it makes sense to pull the trigger now.

How about Higgins, Latendresse, Komisarek, Price, and Kostitsyn for Crosby - that would fetch him now.

Myself, I wouldn't part with them, oddly enough.

It will be a speculative 5 years on this matter for certain.

Wardo said...

I wouldn't compare Crosby to those other guys you mentioned.

Shanahan and anybody else were probably using Montreal rumours to their advantage to leverage cash out of the clubs they actually wanted to play for.

In no position to make any plays like that, Crosby nakedly exposed his desire to play for the team. Very different.

Also, if I'm Pittsburgh management, I wouldn't bother with a contract for Crosby for years yet - so much can change between now and then.

Also, the idea of working out a deal with Montreal is a non-starter as well. Montreal knows Crosby wants to go there, so all they have to do is wait until he's an UFA, and then they make their offer to him. They don't need to surrender any assets at all.

I also believe in terms of any "mega deal", Crosby's name is off the table until the year before he becomes available, if still shows real interest in leaving Pittsburgh. He'll probably lead the league in scoring this season - you don't trade a guy like that when you'll have him under control for the next five years. Especially not for unproven talent. Crosby is money in the bank in that regard (and money at the gate, too) so it would be lunacy to consider dealing him now. Your proposed deal for him would be gunned down in a split-second.

But there's no harm in Pittsburgh feeling him out to see if he wants to stick around, though.

Reality Check said...

If you can gauge talent, the five names mentioned are hardly unproven. Other Carey and Kostitsyn filling the prospect need of any deal, those player have extremely good upsides and would bolster the Penguins lineup for years. Heck, a potential franchise goalie, a rock hard defenseman, a power forward who hits, a gritty and tireless penalty killer, and a sleek European winger with nifty moves and a good work ethic. What more could you ask for?

Like I said, as Montreal, I wouldn't make the deal. In the Pens case, I believe they would ponder it longer than you suggest.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? This is 7 years away! Perhaps after we are coming off our 3rd straight Cup, I think Sid will want to stick around & play for a dynasty.....

Oh, by the way, Mario said he was going back to Montreal after his career was over when he was 18-19 also. He ended up moving to Pittsburgh permanetly.....

Get over yourselves Hab fans....Sid is staying in Pittsburgh.....

Reality Check said...

No, it's five and a half and counting. All this stuff, this talk, originated from Sid himself, any way you look at it.

At least Sid and Malkin will be there long enough to move out of the Lemmon arena.

And dynasties last more than two years!

Anonymous said...


That's "Provide Proof or Retract"

Sidney has NEVER said anything about wanting to play for Montreal other than pre-draft mentioning of his childhood dreams. And if you really need to boost up your egos by thinking that Sid looked "crushed" when the Habs' lottery pick was determined... you go right ahead and do that. *Pats entire population of Montreal fans on head* Oh yes, he was totally crushed.

Reality Check said...

This really bothers you doesn't it?

Your PPOR angle is a load of crap.

I have referred to his biographer's opinion and quote, a media scribe who has witnessed his behavior, and a TV event we all watched. If that doesn't suit you, tough.

Asking me for proof he has said anything directly about it, is nonsense. Do I follow him around? He would obviously never outright state such a thing!

This story in essense didn't start with me, it's been ongoing for a while now. The Sun scribe is an Ottawa fan, the other writer commenting here is a Leafs fan. Both are pretty damn indifferent to the Canadiens and they come to the story quite unbiased.

I don't quite understand how my ego would be boosted by understanding something I saw. Obviously you've never seen it or you know.

One last thing, question my accountability, facts, and opinions all you want, just don't be so gutless as to do it as an annonymous blogger!

Anonymous said...

quit living in the past. the legacy was over as soon as the last remnants of c form drafting ended. and the final nail in the coffin being the European invasion. now there are expansion (relatively speaking) teams that detroy your dynasty day in and day out. its sad you have to look to 2012 as the only chance to once again achieve greatness. and by stealing a player developed by Mario, for shame.

by the way we already have a franchise goalie. you may have heard of M.A. Fleury. go sell your mega deal to the Flyers. i would like to see the camera on your face when Crosby resigns with the Penguins.

Anonymous said...

if Sidney's 102 point season was that of a "crushed" person; penguins are on their way!

Do you think Ms. Shawna Richer may have been trying to sell more books with her comment?
Mais non?

Reality Check said...

Hard to tell if all these anonymous people are one or not! They all share the trait of running from a point made, so I suspect it is so.

What Crosby's future holds is anyone's guess, and likely more tied to what CBA will be in place in the years to come. There is however no doubt about his one-time allegiance to the Habs. How that plays out in time will be decided by numerous factors that include salary, cap concerns, and team composition. As it stands in todays NHL, teams seem to reach forks in the road where they must decide between which players to keep, and those which they must part with, while maintaining some semblance of salary structure within its organization. Like we have seen in Tampa, Ottawa, and soon Buffalo, powerhouses and winning teams will be forced to shed a top contract at some point. Pittsburgh loaded as they will be, are going to be hard pressed to keep everyone they presently have. While their future looks bright, it will need to be managed. Keeping Jordan Staal (he earned it) cost them of year of eligibility, and was unwise, looking forward.

As for claims that I live in the past, I refute them. The Habs past is very much always alive. Undeniably, history teaches and remains relevant. The Habs future is alive and well and the team will be contending soon enough for higher honors.

C form drafting? That's been history since 1968. The Habs legacy has continued considerably well since then.

As for the Penguins remedies for reconstituiting their team - they simply tank it in, sell off players, hire inconpetancy behind the bench, and stockpile picks during futile years. They have basically cheated, to finish last in order to gain, as they did in getting Lemiex. Fans disappear in droves, and return when the good gets better. What a legacy!

Anonymous said...

"As for the Penguins remedies for reconstituiting their team - they simply tank it in, sell off players, hire inconpetancy behind the bench, and stockpile picks during futile years. They have basically cheated, to finish last in order to gain, as they did in getting Lemiex. Fans disappear in droves, and return when the good gets better. What a legacy! "

You clearly don't understand how the Pens operate.....or have for 40 years.....

Reality Check said...

You have a problem with truth!

Exactly how do the Penguins operate?

This team named after a bird that doesn't fly has been on the brink of leaving Steeltown three times. They've needed Mario to save them twice from extinction, and now it's Sidney's turn.

Maybe fans should show up!

It doesn't look like they oprate very well under any circumstances. Even success doesn't garner them any long term stability.

So just how do they operate?

Adam said...

The best part, if Sidney leaves us here in Pittsburgh, is holding every team (including the Habs) in the NHL hostage in the season before Crosby becomes unrestricted.
They won't just let him sign with another team without getting something in return.

Reality Check said...

That's true and they may be smart to look into it well before that.

A team may not part with very much, knowing he may be there for but one playing run. Crosby will have choices for sure, the Penguins less. If we are still in a cap scenario by then, all top offers will be the same and then allegiances take over.

That's where Montreal could come into play.

Me said...

Here's a Reality Check: not many people care about what goes on in Habland except Hab fans and maybe Toronto fans. Seriously, south of Niagara nobody understands or respects this supposed Montreal Canadian mystique.
I don't mean to be rude, I don't wish to tarnish your perception of your favorite team's reputation, but it's just the truth, it's the same in all sports really. Do you really think Predator fans give a darn what a Hab is? They couldn't care less.
By the way, to ridicule Pittsburgh's penguin and to ignore the economic ramifications of their continued possible yearly departure threat is rather disingenuous. The Pittsburgh fans never gave up on the Penguins; the Penguins, Mario included, were using the threat of leaving as a wedge to get a new, paid-for arena. Yes, "fans should grow up," Habs fans it seems.