Sidney Crosby has number retired by junior team Rimouski Oceanic
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had his No. 87 retired by his junior team, Rimouski Oceanic, during a pregame ceremony Friday night at Colisee FinancierSun Life in Rimouski, Quebec.
Crosby played for Rimouski of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) during the 2003-04 and 04-05 seasons. In 121 games, he recorded a spectacular 303 points and led his team to the President’s Cup, the QMJHL’s championship, in ‘05. A few months after that success, he was drafted No. 1 overall by the Penguins.
His dominance at the junior level was evident to the naked eye. A 17-year-old defenseman named Kris Letang had the task of defending Crosby during the 2004-05 campaign.
“I remember that every time you played him, you knew you were probably going into a beatdown,” said Letang, who played for Val d’Or Foreurs. “There’s so many times of a memory of him being a highlight reel after highlight reel. Just being dominant. There’s one game he played against us, he took a 10-minute misconduct and we were up 5-1 and they ended up winning 6-5 in overtime. I think he had six points or something. It was pretty special.”
Crosby is the second Penguins player to have his number retired by Rimouski. Michel Ouellet, a forward who spent the 2005-06 and 06-07 seasons in Pittsburgh, received the honor in ‘15.
In conjunction with Rimouski, the QMJHL announced No. 87 would be retired league-wide.
Coach Mike Sullivan said Crosby is expected to return to Pittsburgh in time for Saturday’s preseason finale against the Buffalo Sabres at PPG Paints Arena.
Forward Alex Galchenyuk missed practice for the second consecutive day because of an undisclosed injury but did skate on his own beforehand in Cranberry, according to Sullivan.
Galchenyuk has not worked with the team since participating in a morning skate Wednesday at PPG Paints Arena. He was scratched for a 4-2 win against the Red Wings that night. Sullivan said Galchenyuk is making progress in his recovery.
USHL showcase continues
The Penguins have practiced in Cranberry the past two days while the United States Hockey League (USHL) has staged its Fall Classic showcase event at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex simultaneously. It’s the fourth consecutive year the USHL, the premier junior league in the United States, has held the event, which draws approximately 400 college and professional scouts, in Cranberry.
The league is based in the midwest with teams ranging from Kearney, Neb., to Youngstown, Ohio. In addition to a fruitful relationship with the Penguins, the league sees the geography of the Pittsburgh area as being ideal for its purposes.
“(Since) it’s not in our footprint, we like to get our brand out there,” USHL commissioner Tom Garrity said. “We get a lot of kids from the East Coast and this side of the country that play in our league. It just allows us to showcase our league and our talent. We’re wide open to all the players in the country.”
The showcase will continue Saturday and Sunday.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton signs Oleksy
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins signed defenseman Steve Oleksy to an AHL professional tryout contract. Oleksy, 33, was a member of the NHL Penguins during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons and won a Stanley Cup ring with the club in 2016.
Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Seth by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .