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Penguins star Sidney Crosby hasn't let hockey honours swell his head

The Canadian Press
By:
The Hockey News
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Penguins star Sidney Crosby hasn't let hockey honours swell his head

The Canadian Press
By:

"I put a lot of expectations on myself anyway so it's nothing I'm too worried about," says the Pittsburgh Penguins centre.

The 19-year-old native of Cole Harbour, N.S., became the youngest player in a major pro sport to win a league scoring title last season and he was the centre of attention during the league's awards ceremonies Thursday night.

It was nice to see he still has control of his ego.

"It's just a fun thing to be a part of, to know you're part of this group," Crosby said during pre-ceremonies interviews with the other trophy finalists. "The guys that are here, it's a special group.

"It's just a compliment to be part of it. It's an honour and a privilege to be here."

He says he's not upset that he won't be the first player from his Nova Scotia community to return home with the Stanley Cup. Anaheim defenceman Joe DiPenta will get first crack at that now that the Ducks are NHL champions. He'll get his day with the Cup. Arrangements haven't been finalized.

"I don't think I'll be around when the Cup is around," said Crosby. "I'll stay away while that's going on.

"But it's great for him, and it's great for the kids there. A lot of kids, hopefully, will get the opportunity to see it up close."

Good for DiPenta, Crosby added.

"I'm sure there are a lot of people there who coached him or helped him get to where he is," said Crosby. "It's a great way for him to come back and say thanks."

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ON THE KEENAN HIRING: A lot of eyebrows shot up when news of the Calgary Flames hiring Mike Keenan as head coach spread among NHL players.

It'll be the eighth NHL coaching staff Keenan will be on.

"I was a little bit shocked, I'm sure much like anybody else would have been," said Anaheim defenceman Chris Pronger, who played for Keenan in St. Louis. "It'll be interesting to see what happens with Mike there."

Pronger laughed when asked why he thought Keenan has got so many chances.

"I don't know, you'll have to ask the GMs and owners that hire him," he said. "He obviously has a knack of getting rehired.

"I think, with the success he had in Philadelphia and New York, he's able to find players he can build and mould. He hasn't been able to win in the last 10 years but he's been able to mould some great players. Sometimes those players go on to win elsewhere."

Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo didn't see eye to eye with Keenan when they were with the Florida Panthers. Luongo now gets to see his old coach eight times a season.

"I'm still trying to get over the shock of realizing what just happened," Luongo said when asked about Keenan's reappearance behind an NHL bench. "For me, I don't really need any extra motivation against those (Calgary) guys.

"It's probably one of our biggest rivalries already. Actually, I'm kind of looking forward to it."

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SAKIC IN FAVOUR: With the sale of the Nashville Predators to Canadian entrepreneur Jim Balsillie pending, news of contingency plans to possibly move the team to Hamilton is reaching holidaying NHL players.

Colorado Avalanche captain Joe Sakic, who was a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy during awards ceremonies Thursday night, said he'd love to see more Canadian teams.

"If you could get a couple more teams in Canada, it'd be huge," said the native of Burnaby, B.C. "Canadian teams are doing well now.

"It's a Canadian sport and the more teams the better."

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Penguins star Sidney Crosby hasn't let hockey honours swell his head