It might not be worthy of a mention on SportsCentre or Hockey Central, but Sidney Crosby has reached yet another milestone which is big news in his native Nova Scotia.
The pride of Cole Harbour has surpassed Hall of Famer Al MacInnis for the all-time NHL scoring lead among players from Canada’s Ocean Playground.
Nova Scotia’s hockey history is as rich as any across this country thanks in large part to players like MacInnis and Crosby who have impacted the game on a global scale.
The list of Nova Scotian-born NHLers reads like an honour roll, capturing the region’s diverse and storied history. World-class skill, character, leadership and longevity have been trademarks for Crosby and MacInnis throughout their illustrious careers.
MacInnis, a former Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues defensive stalwart, played 1,416 regular-season games over his 22-year career. He cemented his legacy by amassing 39 goals and 121 assists in 171 playoff games. He won the Stanley Cup as a player with the Flames in 1989 and again as an executive with the Blues 30 years later. The Port Hood, Cape Breton, icon has held the all-time provincial scoring lead for two decades, after topping Bobby Smith’s point total in 1999.
MacInnis is one of the greatest to ever play the position, sitting 3rd all-time amongst NHL defencemen in scoring, trailing only Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey.
In his day, MacInnis was a dominant force in all three zones while possessing one of the best shots from the blue line the NHL has ever seen.
Crosby was a puck prodigy. Thrust into the spotlight of the hockey world at a young age, he continues to handle all the pressure, attention and high expectations with class, dignity and professionalism.
Sid the Kid took the NHL by storm bursting onto the scene in 2005-06. The Pittsburgh Penguins star eclipsed the 100-point mark in four of his first five seasons, and has continued his brilliance throughout his career, and he’s now about to eclipse MacInnis in more than 400 fewer games.
Crosby will soon become the fourth member of Nova Scotia’s 1,000 games played club. He is now only three games away from the plateau previously reached by Bobby Smith, Glen Murray and MacInnis.
Crosby and MacInnis continue to be exceptional role models in the game of hockey. It has never been about individual accolades or accomplishments; these proud Maritimers have been consummate teammates and have made those around them better, true signs of greatness.
The kid from Cole Harbour is still rewriting the history books.
I had the pleasure of watching the Flames beat my Habs in 89 in the the MacInnis living room along with family members and numerous other friends and neighbours. I cheered him on and so proud on Al winning the MVP of the playoffs.