Remember when Penguins star center Sidney Crosby was accused of selfishness for not appearing at the 2015 NHL All-Star Game? That was a bogus accusation at the time – anybody who's had a glimpse at one of Crosby's daily itineraries can tell you what he happily gives to the league and the game – but news that the Pens captain would spend a portion of his off-season this summer running his own hockey school in his hometown of Cole Harbour, N.S., is another indication of his devotion to the sport and his Atlantic Canadian heritage.
The first annual Sidney Crosby Hockey School, which will take place Aug. 3-7 at Cole Harbour Place, will be operated by Paul Mason, Crosby's AAA PeeWee coach and be open to 120 boys and girls from the ages of 8 to 12. Registration will close in May and participation criteria has yet to be finalized, but Mason told CTV News students from Crosby's home province will definitely have a place.
"Kids from Nova Scotia are going to be in this camp for sure and we also have to recognize that there's going to be interest from outside Nova Scotia, across Canada and maybe the U.S.,” Mason said. “Because it's a hockey camp, kids are going to have played before. That will be one thing that we have a minimum of, just played, but it's not about skill, that's not going to prioritize people at all.”
In Crosby's best-case scenario, he'll be playing in the Stanley Cup Final until mid-June, which leaves him a handful of weeks during the off-season to unwind and have some time to himself. That he's willing to surrender some of that time to make a group of kids incredibly happy says everything about the quality of his character – and just as much about those who still attempt to run it down.