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Nathan MacKinnon says Sidney Crosby opened doors for small-town players

Jun 17, 2013, 10:15 PM EDT

mackinnongetty Getty Images

If you’ve followed high-end 2013 NHL Draft prospect Nathan MacKinnon’s story at all, you probably know that he comes from Cole Harbour, Novia Scotia, just like Sidney Crosby.

It might as well be the first line of any scouting report for MacKinnon.

The budding star didn’t distance himself from the connection, telling The Star that he owes a lot to the 25-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins captain.

“He didn’t know if he could (make it) being from a small town,” MacKinnon said of Crosby. “For me, I looked at him, and said if he could do it, I could do it as well. He paved the way for kids from small towns.”

Still, MacKinnon said that Crosby is “on another level,” so he needed individual moments to feel like he belonged at the highest level of competition.

“The first time I realized I could make it, I went to Toronto when I was 9 or 10 in tournaments,” said MacKinnon.

“You kind of realize you can play with those guys. I was doing well against Toronto kids. You know their track record. That’s when I figured I could play. I know I was young but I got focused on the NHL.”

  1. valarmorghuliss - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Not really true, Crosby just opened some peoples eyes to talent in the Maritimes. Kids from small towns across the rest of Canada have made their way to the NHL a long time ago.

    • valarmorghuliss - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      Oh and he is a 10-15 minute drive from Halifax, the largest Canadian city East of the St.Lawerence. Cole Harbor is suburbia just outside of Halifax/Dartmouth, it’s not like he’s from some small village from the middle of nowhere. I can’t even call them small town players.

      • hockey412 - Jun 18, 2013 at 8:20 AM

        Hopefully someone, maybe Crosby, will warn Nathan that, when he does make it to the NHL, there will be millions of beer-bellied, no talent fans just waiting to jump your sh*t and pull apart every word until you’re made to look silly for making the most innocent of comments…to a disturbing level, right down to looking up where you grew up.

      • valarmorghuliss - Jun 18, 2013 at 12:22 PM

        LOL suck it up you soft lil boy

      • hockey412 - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        Creeper.

      • valarmorghuliss - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Oh shut up you stupid lil boy, nobody is jumping him, and “pulling apart every word”, Nate Mac lives 10 mins down the road from me. Seriously, just wipe your tears and shut your mouth with your over-reactions to me not agreeing.

    • jpelle82 - Jun 18, 2013 at 9:34 AM

      plus crosby played for shattuck st mary’s which is an nhl factory, its not like the scouts just so happened to drop in on a pickup game in cole harbor to find him by chance.

      • drone501 - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:10 PM

        hey , i live 3 streets away from you.

  2. penzfan329 - Jun 17, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Crosby does it all!

  3. 19to77 - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Oh, please. Gretzky was born in Brantford. Orr in Parry Sound. Howe in Floral, Saskatchewan. Bobby Hull was born in Pointe Anne. The Espositos were born in Sault Ste. Marie. And the list goes on.

    Some people would credit Crosby with the sun rising every day if they could, but hundreds of stars have come from small-town backgrounds and Crosby’s just one more. He didn’t change that trend at all.

    • hockey412 - Jun 18, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      The kid made an innocent remark…it’s you that’s wrong here.

  4. drewzducks - Jun 17, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    His stellar ECF performance certainly helped open the door for the Bruins to make it to the Finals, and for that I’m thankful.

  5. dgbk - Jun 18, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    He was born in 95 u think he is more likely to relate to Crosby or hull??

  6. jpelle82 - Jun 18, 2013 at 9:28 AM

    he might want to separate himself from crosby as much as he can…unless he likes everyone giving him crap just because.

  7. dhillca - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    He believes it and that’s fine even if it isn’t true. Some great hockey players for years have come from small towns (al mcinnis, etc etc). In fact it’s part of why they are good players, because they isn’t much else to do. Oh and cole harbour isn’t a town, it’s a burb of Halifax. (Capitol of NS for you American readers).
    As for Crosby he has always been good. I remember him being on the local news when he was 10 showing how much better he was vs the other players.

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