Five fun facts we learned about Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby. (Paul Sancya/AP)

Sidney Crosby sure does a good job of staying out of the spotlight — an impressive feat, considering he’s one of the biggest names in hockey.

On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Tribune’s Jason Mackey published a terrific profile on the NHL’s top star, giving readers an inside look at Crosby’s life off the ice.

In it, Mackey shadows Crosby in his hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, and at his nearby home where he lives during the summer.

In the article, we learn some little-known details about the 28-year-old centre — he’s got a yellow lab named Sam, he recently took up paddleboarding and he’s really into fishing — as well as some bigger-picture facts about him, like how he dedicates lots of time and money to charity, why he’s so passionate about his new hockey school, and what he hopes to do after hockey.

The article is definitely worth a read. But in the meantime, here are five takeaways we learned:

He’s a history buff.
Last year, Crosby took a college history course online through Southern New Hampshire University (all while notching 28 goals and 84 points. No big deal.) He loved the readings, but the essay-writing? Not so much.

He first became interested in history while he was volunteering at a local hospital for veterans when he was a kid.

“A lot of guys didn’t want to talk about (their service) as much,” Crosby said. “But there were some guys who loved talking about it. It was pretty interesting.”

He’s an old soul.
Mackey also spoke with Crosby’s sister, Taylor, who calls Sidney “an old soul.”

Writes Mackey:

He’s not on Twitter, wishes he still carried a Palm Treo smartphone and does his own grocery shopping — he loves the idea of finding new, healthy foods.

You only have to look to his father to see where Crosby gets this quality.

“We’re creatures of habit,” Troy Crosby said. “If you like something, you stick with it. You don’t just change for the sake of changing.”

He’s got a real sweet tooth.
Rejoice! Even the fittest of athletes have weaknesses.

“I like my sweets, and I like the odd cheat meal more than I should: fast food, pizza, cake … donuts, too,” Crosby said. “I crush (Tim Hortons’) Timbits when I can. Just think of the worst things for you, I like them.”

He doesn’t want to coach at the NHL level.
It’s a safe bet that hockey will always be part of Crosby’s life. But No. 87 said he likely won’t be following the paths of previous greats like Joe Sakic, Steve Yzerman and Patrick Roy, to name a few.

“I don’t know if I want to be involved in the NHL necessarily, but I’d like to be involved in hockey in some capacity,” Crosby said. “I don’t think I would want to be a head coach. I don’t think I would want to be a GM, at least as of today, but I’d want to be involved in hockey. … I like the developmental side.”

He’s not shooting pucks into a dryer anymore.
Nope, he didn’t move that famous beat-up dryer from his parents’ basement into his summer digs.

In the largest open area on the main floor, Crosby has a pass-back machine with a stick positioned in front. There’s a separate shooting area out back, slightly different from the one he constructed in his Pittsburgh home that perfectly matches his parents’ basement — only without the dryer he used to fire pucks into.

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