Sidney Crosby has officially been called to lead his country into Russia.
In a move that shouldn’t surprise many people, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain has been awarded the “C” for Team Canada as they look to defend their Olympic gold medal in Sochi in less than a month.
Hockey Canada made the announcement in a press release on Sunday morning.
Crosby, of course, was the overtime hero for Canada with the golden goal at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. He’s also been the premier name in Canadian hockey for a long time, with a maturity beyond his years.
Crosby was an alternate captain in 2010, with Hall of Fame defenceman Scott Niedermayer leading the way.
When asked about Crosby’s potential captaincy for Sochi during the Hockey Hall of Fame induction weekend, Niedermayer offered his support.
“He’s very mature,” Niedermayer said. “He was probably ready when he was 16. He was probably ready in 2010, and the thinking was he’s going to have enough pressure on him just from who he is and things like that that he doesn’t need one more thing to worry about, give it to some old guy that’s just trying to figure things out out there. I’m sure he would do very well.”
Though Crosby was the obvious choice, there is certainly no shortage of leadership on Team Canada. Crosby is one of six NHL captains selected to Team Canada, along with Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks, John Tavares of the New York Islanders, and Toews and Weber. Furthermore, another six Canadian players are alternate captains for their NHL teams, including both of Chicago’s alternates, Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp.
Team Canada opens its Olympic defence against Norway on Feb. 13 at noon EST (9 a.m. PST), with Austria and Finland also being in Canada’s group.