Crosby Kid flashback

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

Sidney Crosby probably is hoping his latest trip to Ontario to play hockey ends much better than his first.

To the best of his father Troy's memory, it was five years ago, when Sidney was 12, that he made his hockey debut in the province at a prospects' tournament in Etobicoke.

But early in the event, he suffered an ankle injury and had to stop playing.

Even then, however, it was clear to observers he was different. Crosby was making an impact against players who were a few years older.

The hockey world is a relatively small one, and one of Crosby's coaches on that trip happened to be Dave Syvret, the father of London Knights' captain Danny Syvret.

"It wound up being a short-lived weekend for him, but you could tell then he was special," Dave Syvret said. "He was playing with kids who were 16 and he was one of the better forwards. He was way ahead of his class at that point. And he was doing it all -- blocking shots and killing penalties, everything."

What also impressed Syvret about the smallish kid at the time was Crosby's willingness to listen and learn.

"He was a sponge back then," Syvret said.

Troy Crosby remembers numerous Ontario Hockey League general managers and scouts were at the tournament, which would serve as a final audition for OHL draft-eligible players. They weren't there necessarily to watch Crosby, but he is a major reason why there'll be a flood of NHL types and media to the John Labatt Centre in London for the coming Memorial Cup.

"(The attention) is part of his everyday life now," Troy Crosby said. "It's a habit. At times it can be trying for him, but he knows it's a part of it. But it's not just on game days. It's every day and people don't understand that."


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