Sidney Crosby has been compared to hockey greats like Wayne Gretzky from an early age, earning him the nickname, “The Next One.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain and Nova Scotia native has lived up to those lofty expectations, earning three Stanley Cup titles and two Olympic Gold medals.
Now, an audio documentary titled “Sidney Crosby: The Rookie Year,” tells the story behind Crosby’s first year in the NHL.
The project received a special assist from Pittsburgh superfan and Hollywood actor Joe Manganiello.
Host of the NHL’s annual awards show, Manganiello is no stranger to collaborating with the league.
When he was tapped to narrate the new Canadian Audible original on Crosby, Manganiello says he knew it was going to be a special project.
“It’s a great sports story, so I am very proud that it happened to our team and certainly got to watch a lot of it unfold,” said Manganiello.
“I also love being an insider because I wind up hearing a lot of the stories. This is a real insider’s look into the birth of a superstar.”
The Audible original also explores Crosby’s relationship with Pittsburgh Penguins icon and all-time hockey great Mario Lemieux.
“Lemieux is the most important Pittsburgh sports icon of all time. You’re remised to find another player who became the owner, saved the team — it’s never happened,” said Manganiello.
“Then for him to come out of retirement and get back on the ice to play with Sid, but also open up his house to Sid, I mean, it’s the kind of thing that can alter the course of your life.”
Manganiello describes the audio doc as a fan’s chance to be a fly on the wall.
“You know, really having a lot of my formative years spent in locker rooms, there’s a bit of that. You really do get to see what goes on after the games with the players and, of course, what goes on on the ice during the games,” he said.
Known for being one of the sports world’s most private athletes, Manganiello believes Crosby opened up for the project because of the quality of the writing.
“It was done with such care and if those stories were going to be told, then this was the place to do it,” he said.
“Even as we were recording, I was being called to rerecord because Marc Andre Fleury just volunteered to sit down. Everybody jumped in because they wanted to be a part of it.”
Even Crosby’s family took part in the project.
“You’ve got his parents talking about the night he was drafted, sitting in his living room in Cole Harbour, N.S. You’ve got his old coaches, you’ve got Lemieux, you’ve got his roommate his rookie season, you’ve got everyone.”
“Sidney Crosby: The Rookie Year” is now available on Audible.
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