LAS VEGAS, NV -- You know it’s especially easy to be graceful about not winning the Hart Trophy as league MVP when you know you've been able to carry the big mug called the Stanley Cup into the annual league awards ceremony.
Here are some random thoughts from Crosby on winning the Cup a second time, bringing it home again to Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, and playing against Connor McDavid in the World Cup of Hockey.
On having a second go-round with the Cup and the first days with it since defeating the San Jose Sharks in Game 6: "Honestly, it’s been pretty similar. Went to a lot of the same places. The parade, everything that comes along with it. I think if anything you just, like I said before, [have more] appreciation for it. Trying to soak up every second. I think you have to remind yourself to do that a bit because I don't think I necessarily did a great job with that first time around."
On Kane’s season and not winning the Hart: "He had an incredible season. Just that [scoring] streak that he had. From start to finish, he was very deserving of it. Coming in, you know with the different awards and things like that, you kind of had a hunch, and I thought with the season that he had, same with Jamie [Benn, fellow Hart nominee], had a great year too. I figured that just being in the conversation was nice, but I was kind of expecting Kane to get it."
On Penguins GM Jim Rutherford being honored as GM of the Year: "It’s great. You look at what he was able to do, the moves he made. Really, just having a plan and knowing kind of what our identity needed to be for us to be successful. He didn't kind of deviate, he just kind of stuck with his plan. The result was us winning, so I think he deserves a lot of credit for what he was able to do and putting the group together. I’m really happy for him."
On trying to top the emotional homecoming he had with the Stanley Cup in 2009 in Cole Harbour: "I don't if I'm going to try. It was pretty special. With going to the shipyards and the whole military side of things. It was incredible. Going up in the helicopter, bringing the Cup in that way. I think second time around, those memories are unique and special; you don’t try to repeat them necessarily, you just try to reach as many people as you can, and that’s what I’ll do for a couple of days as best as I can."
On perhaps having a street named after him back home in Nova Scotia: "It's a compliment. Definitely something that I don’t think that necessarily needs to be done, but like I said, it’s a compliment if they feel that strongly and want to do it, then that means a lot to me. I think about Cole Harbour all the time: My friends back there and growing up there and everything that came along with that, so it’s a special place to me, so that would certainly mean a lot, but by no means is it necessary."
On similarities between him and rookie of the year nominee Connor McDavid: "Pretty similar. When you look at the attention and the expectations coming in. Different things he’s gone through. I think just the confidence and his ability early on. I hope that people saw that in me, but I certainly see it in him. I think that it's pretty apparent that he's a special player, and with his injury it was pretty tough, but he's going to dominate a lot of games, I think."
Thoughts about playing against him and the rest of the kids on Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey: "Yeah, it's going to be fast. Every single one of them can skate. If you look at them, if you look at that list of guys, it's probably some of the top skaters in the league. Fast skaters. So it's going to be entertaining hockey. Might be some chasing around going on out there. It'll be interesting. I think fans are going to love it. I think it's going to be great hockey."