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Continued: Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby: Quite a kid, quite a star

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 29, 2007 - 9:16 PM

The Penguins, who have sold out 19 home games in a row and 29 of their past 31, are expected to sell out every home game this season. They capped season-ticket sales for the first time and have only a handful left for each game at the 16,940-seat Igloo.

This is a team that averaged 11,000 a game before the lockout.

"We've never had a ticket-selling frenzy like this at all levels," McMillan said. "We have a very exciting young core, so it's impossible to quantify, but Sidney is the catalyst for what's going on. We've been very lucky here in Pittsburgh to have two once-in-a-lifetime players in the same lifetime [Lemieux and Crosby]."

Until Crosby came along, the Penguins looked destined to relocate, with Kansas City being the front-runner. Now? There's a groundbreaking for a new arena planned for the springtime.

It's been tagged the "House that Sidney Crosby Built."I don't know about that," Crosby said, laughing. "I think the fans earned it with the support they've shown during tough years in Pittsburgh. The fans really stuck behind the team, and they deserve to get a new rink. As players last year, we wanted to make sure we played as well as possible so we could do our part."

Ed Olczyk, Crosby's first Penguins coach in 2005, says this class is what separates Crosby.

"To see how he absorbs the attention and handles himself and genuinely wants to sell the game," Olczyk said, "it's quite special to see. He's the best player in the game, but he's an unbelievable kid, too, who knows who he is and where he wants to get to.

"He's just a solid person. Between the ears and inside the chest, he's a special guy."

Michael Russo • mrusso@startribune.com

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