(Reuters) - Three-times Stanley Cup champion Sidney Crosby will be appointed as an officer of the Order of Canada, officials announced on Thursday, one of the country's highest honours.
The Pittsburgh Penguins captain is widely regarded as being among the greatest ever to take the ice after helping Canada win two Olympic gold medals and is among 99 new appointments.
Crosby's selection is in recognition of "being one of the greatest hockey players of all time and for supporting community service initiatives for youth," the Governor General of Canada said in a statement.
Hailed as "The Next One" before he even played his first NHL game, the 35-year-old centre has had one of the most decorated careers in professional hockey.
Crosby has twice collected the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the most valuable player for his team during the Stanley Cup playoffs, and was selected to his eighth All-Star game in 2019.
"The NHL is grateful for all he has given to the game and joins his millions of fans throughout Canada and around the world in celebrating this prestigious and well-deserved honour," the league said in a statement.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris)