NHL Draft Day
The NHL draft was underway and the Crosbys were sitting in the stands waiting to see what the decision would be for who would go 1st overall. The class Sidney and Nicki were in was stacked and there were a lot of great kids for the new Rookie class of the 2029-2030 season.
Flashback March 2029
"Sid, I just don't know if it'll be allowed."
"Then go to the league and make it happen. Better yet, maybe I'll talk to them and tell them how I've done everything for them since I came into the NHL in 2005 and never asked for anything in return."
"Are you saying the league owes you?"
"Maybe I am. We can come up with options or a few alternatives to make it happen. I'm asking for one year, one season."
"Why this year? Why not see what happens then try to make it feasible for next year to get it to work out."
"Because this might be my last year to play."
"I have had a great 23 years playing and all in Pittsburgh. My kids are coming into the league and after this year, I want to watch them. Put every game into them and their success."
"You can't be serious about this?"
"After the draft I'll decide if it will be my last year or not depending what happens in June but if we make this happen, can you imagine how powerful the team would be? I know you're thinking about that."
"It does sound tempting. Ok, I've got four months to see if it can happen and I will keep you informed."
"That's all I ask."
End of Flashback
Sidney sat there and remembered that conversation vividly. He also remembered all the trips to New York to talk to the board and Players' Union to try and make his final dream come true.
The lottery had already given some good news by giving the Penguins first pick in the draft, now the wait was to see who went first.
"I'm nervous dad" Sidney told his father. He hadn't let on what he was trying to do to Karen or the kids because he didn't want to disappoint any of them, especially today.
"I know you are son. I had a feeling I would go first but your class is strong that I'm not sure how everything will play out."
"Wherever Nic and I end up, be proud of us dad."
"Sidney, I have always been proud of the accomplishments of you and your sister. Whether you go first or 91st, I'll be happy either way. You are about to enter the NHL son, how can I not be proud?" he said hugging his son.
After another few minutes, Pittsburgh went up to the stage to tell their decision.
"Before we give Pittsburgh the chance to make their choice, this is an exciting draft year for it is the first time women have been allowed to participate in the NHL Draft. All the team organizations, players, and coaches have been waiting for this moment as I'm sure the fans have too" the commissioner of the NHL started "we have a great class of both young men and women ready to show off their skills for the fans of the NHL. Pittsburgh, I will now give you the floor."
"Thank you commissioner" Max Talbot started. Injuries have plagued Max and he decided to retire before doing any permenant damage. The Penguins couldn't see the need to get rid of him and made him General Manager after Ray Shero retired. "This was a difficult decision for there are so many great youngsters to grace the NHL with their talent. The Pittsburgh Penguins take from the Minnesota Junior Hockey League...Sidney Crosby Jr."
Sidney jumped up and frantically hugged his dad then his mom and sister "I so proud of you Sid."
"Thanks sis. You're next" he whispered to her before leaving his family in the stands and headed to the stage. He climbed up the steps and shook hands with everyone and put on the Penguins Jersey and hat to get his picture taken.
They finished with the picture and ushered Sidney to the media table for an interview with NHL Network.
"I am joined here with Sidney Crosby Jr, of course son to the Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. Sidney, I have to ask first of all, can you wrap around the fact that you could be playing with your dad in a few months?"
"Yes I can. My sister Nicki and I have grown up idolizing our dad and to get this unbelievable opportunity to play on a line with him would be the ideal dream."
"We aren't sure where your sister will go but from your perspective, how would you characterize her style of play?"
"She plays hard and isn't afraid to get in and play with the boys. If you watch her, she has her own style but you can see our dad in her."
"Much like you."
"Oh definitely. We try to put our spin on things but we learned from the best so its hard to not be compared to him."
"Before I let you go, is there going to be bragging rights in the family between you two?"
"I don't think so" Sidney said laughing "we're both good and we just want a chance to prove it."
"Thank you Sidney and good luck in the NHL. Now we will take a break and come back for the second overall pick in the 2029 NHL Draft."
During the break Nicki had moved inbetween Sidney and Karen and was bouncing her leg feverishly.
"You ok baby girl?"
"I'm fine daddy."
"Ok, maybe I'm nervous. What if I don't get picked? What if I go somewhere that won't let me play to my potential? What if..."
"Nicki, calm down baby. Whoever picks you knows how great you are. You will undoubtly play your first year."
"I don't want to go anywhere else daddy" she said looking at him "I want to play with you and Sidney."
"I know baby, I know" he said putting his arm around her.
Everyone got quiet as the commissioner stepped back up to the podium "I have a trade announcement. The Detroit Red Wings are trading the second overall pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins" as the crowd roars with excitment "for every Pittsburgh pick for the rest of the 2029 draft and their first draft pick in the 2030 NHL Draft. So Pittsburgh, you have three minutes to make you next selection."
After the announcement, Karen just looked to Sidney who shrugged his shoulders and turned back to the stage.
The Penguins organization sat and discussed for two of the three minutes before heading to the stage. Max once again took to the podium to make their choice.
"The Pittsburgh Penguins take from the Minnesota Junior Hockey League and the first woman to be drafted into the NHL...Trina Nicole Crosby."
"OH MY GOD!!" Nicki jumped up and hugged her parents.
"I told you baby girl."
"Thanks daddy" she said hugging her. "Oh mom, I can't believe it" she said turning to Karen.
"I am so proud of you Nicki."
"Thanks mommy. I love you."
"I love you too" she told her before letting her go to the stage. Sidney put his arm around Karen and she saw how he was beaming with pride "how did you make this happen?"
"Why do you assume it was me?"
"Sidney Patrick Crosby..."
"Ok, so maybe I had a little to do with it but the organization was already trying to get them both for this year."
"You wanted to play on a line with them as much as they did with you huh?"
"Ever since I saw how great they were becoming I knew it would be the perfect ending to my dream and a perfect beginning to theirs."
"Your ending?" she asked confused.
"After this year, I'm retiring so we can enjoy their careers."
"Baby, I've played for 23 years, well 24 this year. I have had a great run, it's their time now" he said as they looked by the stage to see Sidney hugging his sister and new teammate.
"You'll never be able to walk away from the game Sid."
"I know that's why I'll have a job with the front office or maybe assistant coach when I'm ready."
"And I'll still be beside you no matter what you decide."
"I know, that's why I love you so much baby."
After a few minutes Nicki and Max were sitting at the media table talking to NHL Network.
"We are back with Nicki Crosby, the daughter of Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and twin sister to Sidney Crosby Jr. I have to ask Nicki, is this all a dream to you right now?"
"It kind of is. Growing up with Sidney Crosby as my dad, I knew where my life was headed, but he never really said this is what you'll do when you get older. He left that decision to me and my brother and I guess it just came naturally."
"I asked your brother about playing with your dad, your thoughts about that?"
"Honestly, I've had dreams about playing with him and against him. I'm thankful to get that opportunity and hopefully will get to play with him and the Penguins Organization."
"Max, you and the other members of the organization must have thought this through to give up all the remainder picks in this years draft to achieve this."
"Having played with Sidney and watching these two grow up, you could see the potential for greatness and after we won the lottery for first pick we knew who we wanted. We had the wheels turning to try for second pick as well and we were happy when Detroit helped us out."
"Nicki, do you think you'll be able to play at the level in the NHL?"
"Oh definitely. I have been playing on teams that were more male oriented and I have been bumped around with the best of them. I feel learning to play in that environment is what will give me the edge in the NHL."
"I have to say, you and your brother are going to be the ones to watch come next season and add your dad, the Penguins will definitely be a force to reckon with. Nicki, Max thank you and good luck with your future." They both thanked them and went to walk off the stage to head over to the Penguins table before going for pictures and other media.
"I can't believe this happened Uncle Max."
"I can. That dad of your is one persistent man."
"What do you mean?"
"He wanted this. He wanted to play with both you and Sidney before he retires after next season."
"Daddy wants to retire?" she said as the news stopped her in her tracks.
"Maybe I shouldn't have said anything kiddo. Don't make a big deal about it today and talk to him when you guys get home." Max left Nicki standing there lost in thought for a minute before going over to meet everyone else at the table.
While they were waiting for the kids to get their media pictures taken after being drafted, the media was around Sidney to get his thoughts on the day.
"Did you have anything to do with your kids going first and second today, especially both to the Penguins?"
"I might have gave my opinion about it" he told them and they all laughed "but watching them grow up playing and I could see the potential they had. And to get a chance to play with your son and daughter, what hockey player wouldn't want that."
"They're saying that next season will be the season to let the women play on the teams. Do you have any reservations about playing against them or are there any feelings about seeing them play against your daughter?"
"When I'm out there playing, I see the net and the puck, not who's infront of me. The women who get drafted today and who got signed from the National teams have the ability to play with the men in the NHL. I know a lot of the players are welcoming the challenge as much as the women are to play with and against us guys. Nicki is strong and she's been on the boys' teams ever since she was 8. She can handle herself and if not, she got her brother to help her out."
"Is it safe to say that on opening night October 2029, there will be a Crosby line?"
"If it's not a permanent line, I believe that at least for the first shift of the home opener you could see me at center with my son to my left and daughter on my right" Sidney said beaming with pride. The media guys thanked him and he saw his family standing off to the side waiting for him.
When everything was said and done, the family was on their way back home when Nicki spoke up.
"Are you retiring after this season daddy?"
"Sidney shot a look into the rear view mirror "who told you that?"
"Is it true dad?" Sidney chimed in shocked.
Karen took a hold of Sidney's hand and gave him a look to tell them "it might be. I've had a great run of now 24 years and with you two coming in to the league, I figured I would play one year with both of you then retire to become the fan I should be of his kids."
"Is that why you helped get today to be what it was?"
"I need to tell Max to not tell you guys everything."
"What are you talking about Nic?" Sidney asked his sister.
"I guess daddy had a hand in making today possible. To take you first then try for anything to get me second.
Is that right dad?"
"Yes Nicki it was. I had a talk with Max before last season ended and I knew you two were headed for the draft. He made calls, I made calls and we did what we needed to do to make next season happen. But I don't want either of you to think you wouldn't have gone where you did. I didn't want Nicki to go to another team and if that makes me selfish, then I'll take it."
"You weren't selfish dad, we all wanted to play at least one year together" Sidney said putting his arm around his sister who was now crying silently.
After they got home, Nicki went to her room and Sidney was about to follow when Karen stopped him "let me go first." Sidney just kissed her lips and nodded watching go talk to their daughter.
"I'm fine mommy, I just can't believe daddy did that."
"Can't believe good or bad?"
"Good. He wants to play with me mom. He wants to play with both his kids, how can he not be the greatest."
Karen sat there and smiled as she rubbed her daughter's back to soothe her "your dad has always been persistent baby. I was shocked when he told me after your name was called." Nicki turned over and sat up facing her mom "he can't become the fan he needs to for his son and daughter if he's still playing. I think he's realized he's done Nic and this is a way to pass on his greatness to you and Sidney."
"I think I'm looking more and more to opening night" Nicki said as they both laughed.
"Let's get through training camp first baby girl, then we'll go from there."
"I love you mom."
"And I am absolutely so proud of you. You are going to be great and I will be cheering every game loudly for you. I love you too Nicki."
"I think I'm going to talk to daddy now."
"He'd love that." They hugged again then both left the room to head downstairs. Nicki found her brother and dad outside playing one on one and went outside to join them. Karen just watched them through the window and saw them talk for a minute before Nicki stepped up to hug her dad. She watched for a little bit longer as the three of them started playing again before she left them alone to play.