Crosby to fans: ‘Who wouldn’t want to come home to this?’

via The Chronicle Herald (Videos can be watched by clicking the link)

Thousands fill streets of Cole Harbour to welcome hockey hero home

‘Who won’t want to come back to this,’ Crosby tells fans
Thousands of residents lined the streets of Cole Harbour Saturday to watch as hometown hockey legend Sidney Crosby hoisted the Stanley Cup with pride.

Anxious chatter began reverberating through Cumberland Drive at 8 a.m. Children were set up on picnic blankets with ‘Welcome Home’ signs on the ready. Hardcore fans had the Penguins #87 jersey and markers in hand, while others had spent months fashioning a Stanley Cup of their own for the event.

Sid the Kid was back home and the pressure was on to make it a reunion for the ages.

Crosby led the Pittsburgh Penguins to their fourth Stanley Cup win this year. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs.

Crosby arrived at about 10:30 a.m. decked out in a baseball cap and a t-shirt proclaiming ‘Stanley Cup Champions 2016.’

The Cup glistened in the hot summer sun as cheers reverberated in Cole Harbour.

“Who wouldn’t want to come back to this?” Crosby asked the crowd when he arrived at Cole Harbour Place after the parade.

This isn’t the first time Crosby has brought NHL’s most coveted trophy to the province.

In 2009, a military Sea King helicopter carried both Crosby and the Cup to the flight deck of HMCS Preserver at the Halifax Dockyard.

This time around, Crosby said his return home was sweeter than the last.

“You see the crowd, you see the people,” said Crosby after the parade. “But you also think about what comes to mind when you pass that area.”

During his week home, he drove by where he used to play street hockey, where he went to school and even the rink where he skated while he was growing up.

“It’s about dreams coming true and being able to share them with people.”

Each player of the Cup-winning team gets brief custody of the trophy. But, as team captain, Crosby is able to keep it for one extra day.

Crosby picked up the trophy from the airport Friday and took it on a first-class tour of his hometown. He treated it to a ride on the Harbour Hopper and even a double-double at Tim Hortons.

But he told the crowd that his favourite part of Friday was his surprise visit to the Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building.

“He’s an awesome hockey player but he’s also a gentleman,” said long-time fan Marie Gower Saturday. “He doesn’t forget where he came from.”

Gower said she’s used to seeing celebrities let fame and fortune get the best of them but Crosby has done the opposite. “He always puts money back into this area.”

Whenever Gower tells someone she’s from Cole Harbour, she calls it the home of Sidney Crosby.

Halifax Regional Municipality Coun. Gloria McCluskey, the former mayor of Dartmouth, wants to solidify this by naming Cole Harbour Place after him.

She made this announcement after Mayor Mike Savage was introduced as “Crosby’s biggest fan.”

McCluskey said Canada is the only country that can brag about raising the best hockey player in the world.

“Cole Harbour is your home,” McCluskey told Crosby. “But we all claim you, Sidney.”

Cole Harbour Coun. Lorelei Nicoll echoed this sentiment and told the Chronicle Herald that this Stanley Cup victory brings considerable pride to a small community.

“I think we’ve got it all figured out on how to win and bring the Cup here,” said Nicoll. “And that’s thanks to Sidney Crosby.”

As RCMP officers escorted Crosby out of Cole Harbour Place, sadness replaced the excitement for some.

One child broke down in tears as the Stanley Cup was buckled into the car’s back seat, while another asked his mother when Crosby would be back again.

Only time can answer that question, but Crosby remains optimistic that this isn’t his last parade.

“I’m always proud to come back here,” Crosby said to the supportive fans, friends, and family. “I hope we do this again.”

Original publish date: Jul. 16, 2016

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