Puck Daddy - NHL

Sidney Crosby's 21st birthday this Thursday isn't exactly the rite of passage it is for others. He was legally an adult in Canada at age 19, and we challenge anyone to provide sufficient evidence that there's a bar within 30 miles of Pittsburgh that wouldn't serve him.

Still, turning the big two-one is an important moment in anyone's life, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review beat reporter Rob Rossi chatted with the Pittsburgh Penguins star about a wide range of topics before Sid's cake gets an extra candle. For example, we learn he's a Crown Royal and Jack Daniels man.

This is a bit of a conundrum. We'll assume that beer isn't mentioned because suds are to Canada as ice tea is to the States: Plentiful and a tacit part of life. Crown Royal indicates a slight elitism; it's the whiskey of Hillary Clinton, after all. But Jack Daniels indicates a down-to-earth approachability; like Sidney could walk into any biker bar in Western Pa. and knock'em back with the Wheeled Demons. Of course, the real question is whether Crosby meant he drinks Crown Royal and Jack Daniels together ... which would elevate his level of testosterone-infused credibility to Tiger Williams levels.

It's a good interview that covers much of last season's emotional ride, but the meat is in Crosby's comments about Marian Hossa signing with the Detroit Red Wings:

Q: How did you react upon learning Marian Hossa would not re-sign with the Penguins?

A: I was pretty surprised. He told me that he really enjoyed it in Pittsburgh. He loved the team and the city. He never had one bad thing to say.

Q: Have you spoken with Hossa since he signed with Detroit?

A: We've played phone tag, but I haven't talked to him yet. I thought he liked it here. He was great to play with. It's too bad.

Q: What is your reaction when a former teammate that played alongside you in the Stanley Cup final says another team gives him a better chance to win the Stanley Cup next year?

A: To be honest, if you look at (the Red Wings), they haven't lost anyone. We came within two games, but they won, and they haven't lost one guy. Maybe on paper they have the best chance to win the Cup and, in his mind, that is what he thinks. If you ask anybody else, that's the way it looks. I'm not mad at him or anything like that. That's just the way it is.

When asked if Hossa's comments will be extra motivation for the Penguins, Crosby said: "We have enough motivation in the fact that we came that close and didn't win. Whether he said that or not doesn't matter." And that's why the soon-to-be man is captain.

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