QUESTION: Your thoughts on winning the award? Were you surprised missing as much time as you did at the end of the regular season?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I don’t know. I think it was something that I knew I was nominated for, knew I had a chance. Yeah, I guess you never know until you get the word. It was nice. That’s not something that you’re thinking about during the season. But to be recognized by the guys that you play against, I think it’s obviously a compliment. Happy with the regular season. Felt like it was pretty good, for the most part.
QUESTION: I don’t know if you get to see much of Jonathan Huberdeau, but what did you think of him when you did see him?
SIDNEY CROSBY: When we played against Florida?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I think he’s a great player. He’s a great young player. He’s got a lot of skill. He seemed to adjust pretty quickly. To get thrown in there with as many games as we had to play in a short period of time, maybe that might have helped. But he certainly had a terrific year.
QUESTION: You mentioned about this being an award that the players vote for. Could you talk about what it means just to have an award like that. The other thing would be, in hindsight, do you feel like you reached the level where you were playing before the (2011) NHL Winter Classic, when everything was going right for you and the Penguins?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, no, certainly to be recognized by the guys you compete against night in, night out, that’s a compliment. To know that’s the way they see you as a player, to have that much respect for your season, what you did, I think that means a lot. I think any player would tell you that. I think it’s special we have this award. I think it’s an honor for anyone who’s able to win it.
As for the regular season, I feel like I was able to get to that level for the most part. I missed a lot of time prior to the season. To be able to get in that many games so quickly probably helped me, especially with the lockout. I was well-rested.
I was definitely excited to get back out there and felt like I got to the level that I wanted to.
QUESTION: Getting awards like any individual honor, especially this one, in terms of how you feel that will affect how people view you long-term compared to championships. Also, the guy that won it the year before was Evgeni Malkin. Signed to a big deal. Your thoughts on that, too.
SIDNEY CROSBY: What was the first question?
QUESTION: The long-term view, how history will judge players?
SIDNEY CROSBY: I think it will be by championships. I think winning always defines players. I think that’s not the only thing. I think there’s a lot of things that do that. But ultimately winning, that’s something that players are measured by, how their teams do.
Awards and things like that are nice, it’s an honor to win them. Guys play to win, they don’t play for awards. I think ultimately that’s kind of how I see it.
As for signing Geno, I’m very happy. Very excited he’s going to be part of our team for a long time. Ray was able to do that pretty quickly. Just really excited and really happy that it’s done and that we’re going to be playing together for a long time.
QUESTION: How do you feel about winning this award and not winning the Hart Trophy? Does that bother you at all that you have one and not the other or does that not matter?
SIDNEY CROSBY: You know what, like I said, I don’t think you play throughout the season with awards in mind, to be honest. I don’t. That’s not how I measure my season. But to be recognized by this one, to be recognized by the players, it certainly means a lot.
For the Hart, it’s one of those things when you’re in the mix, you’re that close, it’s something you’d love to win since you’re close, you’re in the mix, it’s something that is not an automatic thing every year.
I had a pretty good year this year. I don’t think I would do anything differently. I feel I had the best year I possibly could. It didn’t work out the way I wanted. I’m not going to get too upset over the fact I didn’t win it. I was in the mix. Alex had a great second half there, ended up getting hurt and missing some time there. That’s how it works sometimes.