Twenty-two years ago, Cole Harbour’s Sidney Crosby -- the face of hockey in North America -- was born. On Friday, he will proudly share a special piece of sporting history and a large part of himself when he brings the Stanley Cup to this region.

 

Sidney carries the weight of the game on his shoulders, something he does with precision and care. Leading his team and earning the Stanley Cup is something he has dreamed of, focused on and made sacrifices for since his early years. What his team has done, what he has accomplished, and how he carries himself in the ever-present spotlight is no easy task.

 

Friday is his chance to sit back, relax, and experience joy in sharing the rewards of his efforts with all of us. I guarantee you he will do so with pride, passion and a sincere sense of gratitude for the support he has received.

 

Having worked closely with Sidney as his midget coach — and more recently with his pre-season preparation — he knows he is held to a higher standard than almost everyone in the game and under more pressure than anyone to perform.

 

As a kid, he was able to handle the media and spotlight off the ice like a savvy professional. On the ice, he displayed an uncanny knack for making something happen out of nothing, alter the ability of those around him and lead teams to championships.

Given these abilities and the fact he is likely the most naturally driven individual in the game today, Sidney continues to strive to make the most positive impression at every opportunity, preparing for each contest like it is Game 7.

What is truly special is that Sidney truly cares. Sid profoundly cares about his family, his community, his teammates, the team, the game, his preparation and performance, his fans and about maintaining an honest, humble image.

Sidney is what we all appreciate in a Nova Scotian and proud Canadian. The fact he is outstanding at what he does is a bonus, yet overshadowed only by who he is. Hard to believe he is only 22.

Although he is sharing this Cup celebration with us now, it’s my guess he has already refocused on bringing it home again.

Way to go Sid, thanks for sharing your experiences and this day with us. Happy birthday!

Brad Crossley is a friend and former coach of Sidney Crosby.