Penguins Notebook: Crosby selected Canada's top athlete
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Penguins center Sidney Crosby was named male athlete of the year Thursday by Canadian Press for the third time in four years.
Crosby became the darling of his native country when he scored in overtime against the United States to clinch the 2010 Olympic gold medal for Canada in February in Vancouver.
The only other hockey players to receive the honor as many as three times are Wayne Gretzky and Maurice Richard. Crosby also won in 2007 and '09.
The final rosters for this morning's Penguins-Washington alumni game at Heinz Field have been announced:
Penguins Hall of Fame center and owner Mario Lemieux headlines the home team.
The rest of the Penguins old-timers are: Hockey Hall of Famers Paul Coffey, Ron Francis, Larry Murphy and Bryan Trottier, plus Rod Buskas, Gary Roberts, Greg Malone, Bob Errey, Bill Guerin, Jay Caufield, Craig Simpson, Francois Leroux, Gary Rissling, Troy Loney, Kevin Stevens, Gilles Meloche, Phil Bourque, Dave Hannan, Peter Taglianetti, Warren Young, Frank Pietrangelo, Rob Brown and Rick Tocchet. The coaches will be Eddie Johnston, Randy Hillier and Pierre Larouche. The honorary general manager is Jack Riley, the Penguins' original general manager.
Peter Bondra, a 500-goal scorer, leads the Capitals' alumni roster, which also includes Dino Ciccarelli, Michal Pivonka, Sylvain Cote, Don Beaupre, Pat Ribble, Ken Sabourin, Yvon Labre, Mark Lofthouse, Nick Kypreos, Alan Hanglesben, Dean Evason, Errol Rausse, Alan May, Craig Laughlin, John Druce, Dennis Maruk, Greg Adams, Blair Stewart, Gord Lane, Robert Picard, Paul Mulvey and J.R. Reich. The coaches will be Granny Grant, Joe Reekie and Bucky Gallagher.
The game, at 9:30 a.m. in conjunction with the Winter Classic, is sold out but will be streamed at penguins.nhl.com.
Tickets include a Penguins practice at 11:30 a.m. on the Heinz Field rink, but the Capitals' practice to follow is not open to the public. The practices will be covered by NHL Network.
Deryk Engelland has established himself as a pretty reliable defenseman at the NHL level -- and his toughness has caught the attention of people around the league -- but he was cast in a different role during a game-day skate Tuesday.
When first-line right winger Pascal Dupuis was unable to participate for reasons that were not disclosed, Engelland was plugged into his spot alongside Crosby and Chris Kunitz.
Coach Dan Bylsma said Engelland drew that duty because "he asked," but Engelland isn't looking to rewrite his job description. He had, he said, played "a little bit" of forward while working in the ECHL.
Not that he doesn't appreciate that having Crosby feed him pucks could be satisfying.
"It would be fun, I'm sure," Engelland said. "But I'll stick with [defense], I think."
The Penguins were given Thursday off.
First Published December 31, 2010 12:00 am