TWITTER // Philip Pritchard @keeperofthecup

Sidney Crosby takes Stanley Cup to air carrier, hometown coffee shop

HALIFAX — Sidney Crosby met the Stanley Cup at the Halifax airport Friday, beginning his designated time with the storied trophy with a surprise visit to a hometown Tim Hortons.

"We heard this big explosion of applause and heard someone say 'Sidney,'" said Paul MacFarlane, operations manager for the Tim Hortons in Cole Harbour. "We came up to the front and saw Sidney Crosby walk through with the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy.

"I had never seen it before, it was awesome."

The coffee shop, visited frequently by Crosby as a kid, is on Forest Hills Parkway, which will be shut down Saturday to allow the Pittsburgh Penguins captain to parade the Cup.

Each player of the Cup-winning team gets brief custody of it. As team captain, Crosby is permitted to have the trophy an extra day and said he wanted to share it with as many people as he could.

PAL Airlines tweeted a photo of Crosby, the Cup and an unidentified man in an orange safety vest with thanks "for visiting our Halifax offices."

Crosby also took the trophy for a visit with kids at his hockey school before moving on to the Tim Hortons where he also generated plenty of excitement.

Video posted on social media showed him plunking the Cup down on the order counter, as staff and about two dozen customers slowly became aware of who had arrived. Another man carried the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to Crosby as playoff MVP.

MacFarlane said Crosby stayed for about 15 minutes, taking photos with everyone.

"He came behind the counter and ... made sure all the staff got pictures with him," said MacFarlane.

MacFarlane said he didn't get a chance to talk to Crosby on this visit, but did get an autograph a few years ago during a more low-key visit in which Crosby went largely unnoticed, simply using the shop's drive-through to get a coffee.

"He's a gentleman; he's awesome," said MacFarlane.

Crosby also brought the Cup to Nova Scotia the first time the Penguins won it with him as captain, in 2009. Back then, a military Sea King helicopter carrying Crosby and the Cup landed on the flight deck of HMCS Preserver at the Halifax Dockyard. He stepped onto a wharf, the Cup aloft over his head, to cheers from hundreds of fans. Thousands lined a parade route in his honour.

Saturday's parade ends at Cole Harbour Place, where Crosby hosts an annual hockey school.

The Canadian Press

Read More: Sports, NHL, Canada



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