Fans sing 'Happy Birthday' to Crosby as he parades Stanley Cup through Halifax
HALIFAX — NHL superstar Sidney Crosby said it’s “just a number,” as he turned 30 on Monday and brandished the Stanley Cup in a parade that wound through Halifax in his native Nova Scotia.
Crosby rode on the back of a white pickup truck as marshal of the city’s annual Natal Day parade, waving to thousands of fans who lined the streets for a glimpse of “Sid the Kid” and the revered cup.
Crosby told reporters he’ll enjoy the celebrations before setting his sights on training camp with the Pittsburgh Penguins later this month. The team will be making a bid for its third straight championship.
“I have a pretty good understanding of how hard two is, so I don’t imagine what three must be like. I’d love to find out,” Crosby said.
“It’s gonna be tough but we’re going to training camp with that in mind so it’ll be a big challenge but, you know, why not?”
The three-time Stanley Cup champ and future Hall of Famer said NHL hockey just keeps getting faster, “And I like that.”
He smiled when asked if, at 30, he has any grey hairs yet.
“Lots,” he said to laughter from the room. “Greys and whites.”
People lining the parade route sang Happy Birthday as Crosby passed, behind a marching band at the front of the parade.
It began in Halifax’s historic north end, and then across a harbour bridge to Dartmouth. Crosby rode on the back of a white pick up truck, waving to the crowd with one hand and steadying the large silver cup with the other.
The crowd cheered when the marching band played a rendition of Hockey Night in Canada.
Parade-goer Colin Roberts, 12, plays peewee hockey and said Crosby is a role model.
“He’s so good but he stays low key. He signs autographs.”
Roberts’ nine-year-old brother, Eric, said Crosby is also kind.
“He’s such a good player but he also takes the time to visit old folks’ homes.”
Photos on social media over the weekend showed Crosby taking the cup to a local children’s hospital and hoisting it over his head beside an airplane in Halifax.
Sana Rehan said she became a Crosby fan after watching him play in the 2010 Winter Olympics.
“He’s so good, on and off the ice. He’s so humble and such a strong work ethic.”
Rehan said her family has bonded over hockey and watching Crosby ever since, and Monday was the first time they saw the hockey star — and the Stanley Cup — in person.
“He’s the best player in the world and we all became fans after that (Olympic) game.”
Her 12-year-old brother Ahmad, who will play bantam hockey next year, said Crosby made him want to play hockey.
“He’s got such skill. It makes you want to cheer for him.”
Monday afternoon, Crosby was to take the cup to Rimouski, where he played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.