Crosby asked for Toews' blessing

Updated: January 22, 2014, 4:18 PM ET
By Craig Custance | ESPN The Magazine

DETROIT -- Naming Sidney Crosby captain of Team Canada for the Sochi Games, even with his strong resume, wasn't necessarily a no-brainer. Not according to coach Mike Babcock.

"Jonathan Toews has won two [Stanley] Cups," Babcock pointed out Monday.

[+] Enlarge Jonathan Toews
Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty ImagesJonathan Toews says Sidney Crosby deserves to be Team Canada's captain for the Sochi Games and he's "excited to accept any role I get."

On Wednesday, Babcock revealed a little more about the process. According to the Team Canada coach, Crosby wanted to make sure Toews was fine with him getting the captaincy before things became official.

"Crosby wanted to make sure it was OK with him because of the fact that he's won a couple Cups," Babcock said. "[Toews is] held in high regard, to say the least, amongst coaches, amongst management, amongst players, and he's a huge reason [the Chicago Blackhawks] win as much as they do."

Team Canada picked Crosby as captain and named Toews and Shea Weber alternates for the Games.

It was honor enough for Toews.

"I think everyone knows that Sidney was the guy," the Blackhawks captain said Wednesday. "I'll be excited to accept any role I get. If it's more of a leadership role, I'm excited for that challenge. It's a quick two weeks, everyone really focuses on their own game but also tries to find that team chemistry that is going to make a difference for us."

Maybe maintaining that chemistry was behind Crosby's motivation to include Toews in the conversation. Either way, Toews said it's a good example of Crosby's leadership.

"For Sidney to ask the other guys for their approval, I don't think he needed to do that," Toews said. "That just shows the kind of guy he is and obviously a great captain in Pittsburgh."

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