The Stanley Cup will make its return to Cole Harbour, N.S., in early August, Sidney Crosby said Wednesday during a media availability where he also talked about his history of concussions and the decision not to send NHL players to the next Winter Olympics.
The three-time Stanley Cup champion spoke at his annual hockey camp and said he would bring the cup to his hometown Aug. 6 and 7, although details surrounding the parade and viewing times must still be worked out.
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain is coming off his third Stanley Cup win last month, against the Nashville Predators.
Crosby was questioned about whether he would continue playing hockey after his latest concussion during this year's playoffs, but said he doesn't pay much attention to media reports.
"I don't really read or listen to that stuff during the playoffs," he said.
He said he still has seven more years left in his contract with the Penguins. Crosby, who has suffered four diagnosed concussions during his career, said he understands why there is so much focus on head injuries.
"It's a hot topic," he said. "That's the nature of it right now."
He told reporters more is being learned about how to deal with head injuries, even compared to six or seven years ago when he suffered his first in the NHL.
"You have to continue to listen to your body to make sure before you go back that you're good to go," he said. "There's things in place to help with that."
He called concussions a "tough" injury that can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms are different for each person.
Proud of local hockey stars
Crosby also commented on the league not allowing players to participate in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
"I'd love to see us there. I think it's great for everybody, I think it's great for players, I think it's great for fans — yeah, it's unfortunate it's not the case but I think there's a lot to gain from being there," he said.
Crosby said it's great to see local hockey players like Nathan MacKinnon and Brad Marchand making it big in the NHL, especially coming from a small province like Nova Scotia.
"You're proud, you want to see local guys do well and as a kid growing up here," he said. "I remember looking up to different players, you know Al MacInnis, Glen Murray, Cam Russell — I mean all these guys. You look up to them, you think, 'Hey if this guy made it here, I can do the same thing.'"
Crosby also had advice for young up and coming Nova Scotians like Mooseheads defenceman Jared McIssac.
"The best advice I can give is try to enjoy it. Junior hockey is some of the best times of your life," he said.
Hockey camp in its 3rd year
For the last three years, Crosby has also hosted a summer hockey camp in his hometown of Cole Harbour, and has said it's a way to share the memories and experiences of hockey camps he attended when he was young.
The camp is an opportunity for young players to refine stick-handling skills, practise skating drills, and, of course, meet Crosby himself.
There are 160 players taking part in the hockey school, with Crosby joining them for some of the on-ice sessions through to Friday.
Crosby thanked volunteers for their time helping out with the camp.
"It means a lot to be able to run the camp but it also means a lot to know that there is so many people that want to help and give back, themselves. They're really what makes the camp," he said.
The camp is an initiative of the Sidney Crosby Foundation, which financially assists charities that improve the lives of disadvantaged children.