Ottawa, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – Hockey Canada has named Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby captain of the team that will compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“It’s definitely a huge honor,” Crosby said. “I think playing for Team Canada and playing in the Olympics is a great opportunity, but being able to be named the captain, I think, is definitely an honor.”
This marks the first time in Crosby’s career that he will captain Canada’s team during international play. He was an alternate captain for Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, when he scored the game-winning goal in overtime to beat the United States, 3-2, and won the goal medal for the Canadians.
He was also Canada’s alternate captain at the 2006 World Championships, where at the age of 18 he became the youngest player to ever lead the tournament in scoring with 16 points (eight goals, eight assists).
Crosby joins Mario Lemieux and Dave Tippett as Penguins who have captained Canada’s Olympic team.
Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews and Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber were named alternate captains.
“Sidney, Jonathan and Shea have been leaders on the international stage in the past, as well as with their NHL teams,” Canada coach Mike Babcock said. “These three players will be at the forefront of our efforts in Sochi, but we are confident we have 25 players on our roster that will lead in their own way and allow our team to be successful.”
Crosby leads the NHL with 68 points (25 goals, 43 assists) and has led the Penguins to the best record in the Eastern Conference despite injuries that cost key players significant playing time, including center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Kris Letang.
Canada begins play in the Sochi Games against Norway on Feb. 13.