PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – When the team gets older and off to a slow start. Then your general manager quits and you bring a couple of veterans to replace Jim Rutherford, rumors start swirling.
As Sidney Crosby gets ready to play in his 1,000 game Saturday night, he still wants to finish his career where it started.
“No, nothing has changed,” Crosby said after practice on Friday. “That is definitely a new subject that I’ve had to deal with and hear about a little bit. I love playing here and this is where I would love to play for the rest of my career. I can’t really control what is said or rumors or things like that.”
It’s not that the 33-year-old is thinking about retirement. While he doesn’t currently have league-leading numbers, Crosby is still tied for most goals on the team (6). He’s also helped his linemates, Jake Guentzel to 12 points and mostly on his line forward Bryan Rust to a team-leading 15.
“As long as I feel good,” Crosby said of how long he wants to play. “I think I would love to play as long as I can. I don’t have an idea of what that age is or number is. I think I focus on playing out my contract and seeing where I’m at then.”
His current 12-year, 104 million dollar contract expires after the 2024-25 season.
“I feel really good,” Crosby said. “It’s been great to get some games in consistently and get a little rhythm that way, so hopefully we get some momentum there.”
“I feel good and I want to play as long as I can. So I guess we will have to see.”
It’s amazing to think of Crosby at 1,000 games when you think back to the teenager who came to Pittsburgh unable to grow a beard. The Nova Scotia native said he knew from the first day it was going to work here.
“The airport,” Crosby said. “That’s the first memory I have is just the amount of people that were there. The excitement and how welcome I felt from the very first day I got there from that experience on.”
It can be hard for those not from here to be accepted here, but Crosby said he felt a part of the city from day one.
It’s interesting when asked about his best memories, that it doesn’t revolve around the post-season.
“I would say my first home game,” Crosby said. “Feeling that excitement, that atmosphere. Finally playing at home, getting my first goal.”
“Then my last home game of that year and I was going for 100 points. I think we were in 29th place. Didn’t really have a reason to have an atmosphere like that, but everyone came out and was so supportive. You would have thought it was a playoff game that night.”
He would help lead the franchise to many playoff atmospheres.
As head coach Mike Sullivan said very well on Friday, it’s a shame those fans won’t get to be there in-person for game 1,000.