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Winning Stands Over Big Three Retirement for Penguins' Sidney Crosby

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby tells '32 Thoughts' that winning another Stanley Cup remains his main goal.

Very few players in the history of the NHL have won as much as Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. There aren't many things that Crosby hasn't accomplished in the first 17 years of his career. While some in his position may get complacent, Crosby continues to strive for more heading into the back end of his career.

Crosby represented the Penguins at the annual NHL Media Tour in Las Vegas. The 35-year-old was welcomed to the tour by an old friend, former Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who was up to his usual shenanigans in Vegas. 

Crosby made a guest appearance on "32 Thoughts" with Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek and was asked about the potential of retiring with Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang in Pittsburgh. 

"That's something we'd love to do," Crosby said. "I think something higher up on the list is winning together again. That's our motivation."

A fourth Stanley Cup would mean many things for Crosby and his Penguins counterparts. It would put them in a league of their own amongst the top-tier cores of the Salary Cap era, pushing them ahead of the Patrick Kane-Jonathan Toews Chicago Blackhawks and doubling up the Steven Stamkos-Nikita Kucherov Tampa Bay Lightning.

Historically, another Stanley Cup would mean this era of Penguins would have twice as many Cup victories as the powerhouse Penguins teams of the early '90s and tie them with the Wayne Gretzky led Edmonton Oilers of the 80s. 

When the Stanley Cup is awarded in 2023, the Penguins will be six years removed from their last championship. One year shy of the time it took between the 2009 and 2016 Cup championships. 

In 2021-22, the trio of Crosby, Malkin, and Letang proved they were still every bit of the top-tier talents that they have been throughout their careers. Crosby and Malkin each registered over a point per game, and Letang logged a career season at 34 years old. The only question becomes, will they have enough to get this team back to the top?

While the pursuit for a fourth Stanley Cup is at the top of Crosby's list, he does have two other potential accolades to chase in the latter stages of his career, the Penguin's all-time points record and a top five spot in all-time points. 

Sidney Crosby will go down as one of the greatest winners in hockey history, but he continues to look for more as his career enters its final stages.

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