What's buzzing:

Puck Daddy

Sidney Crosby plays goalie in ball hockey league, shocking Pittsburgh rec players

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

View photo

.

@jheaney16

It's a Friday night at a Pittsburgh area dek hockey rink. You have the ball on your stick, racing towards your opponents' goal crease. You're watching the goaltender's eyes, trying to anticipate his next move.

Then you realize the goalie you're trying to out-think looks remarkably like Sidney Crosby.

Such was the scene at Dek Star last weekend, as the most famous hockey player on Earth strapped on the goalie gear and played for a ball hockey team in a 26-and-over league -- unannounced and completely anonymous to his foes until his identity was revealed later in the game.

"The greatest hockey player in the world was next to me, talking. It was super cool of him to be able to try and be like us normal guys, just come out and play with the guys," said Joseph Heaney, a ref at Dek Star for seven years that officiated the game.

Like the rest of his NHL peers, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain has been locked out since mid-September. Many of them have left for ice rinks in Europe; Crosby, meanwhile, opted to stay local for near-daily practices with his Penguins teammates on the ice — and the occasional goaltending foray onto a hard plastic dek hockey rink, apparently.

Crosby's moonlighting at Dek Star, located about 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, was first reported by The Pensblog on Monday. Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette caught up with Crosby, and a few folks at the facility, to confirm the validity of this surreal moment.

How, exactly, did Crosby end up playing goalie for a dek hockey team?

From the Post-Gazette:

"My buddy plays in the league there. I talked to him about playing," Crosby said. "I played a lot of goalie in street hockey growing up and stuff. Just asked if he needed a goalie. He said sure and I came out. It was cool."

Due to his equipment, the presence of hockey's most recognizable figure was not known by those at the rink until late in the contest. "I had all the [goaltending] gear on," Crosby said. "I was talking to the ref once toward the end of the game and I think he recognized me."

(Sidney Crosby, talking to a referee? Boy there's something you never see ...)

"My referee walked over just to kind of say, 'Hey, you're not the normal goalie. It's about time they get a goalie.' " said Chris Evans, general manager of Dek Star. "Instead, he looked at him and he was like, 'Holy [cow] that's Sidney Crosby.' "

"The other team played against him for an hour and had no idea. They didn't even know until I told them until after he left."

For the record, the team he played against was nicknamed "Flyers Suck." You just can't make this stuff up...

According to Heaney, Crosby "pitched a 4-0 shutout" in the game.

This shouldn't come as a surprise, mind you: Crosby frequently tends goal during road hockey games in the offseason in Canada, and has strapped on the pads during Pittsburgh Penguins practice before. He also played street hockey during his day with the Stanley Cup.

Hockey fans have been drained of joy by the NHL lockout, which is threatening the viability of the 2012-13 season. But there have been some surreal benefits to the work stoppage, from charity games with NHL stars to impromptu street hockey games with players … to Sidney Crosby, ball hockey goalie.

"I'd like to thank him for the experience," said Heaney.

"It's one that I'll be able to tell my 7-month-old son. As soon as he knows who Sid is."

s/t to Joseph Heaney for the image and the info.

More sports news from the Yahoo! Sports Minute:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Mark Sanchez turns the ball over five times, ends Jets' playoff hopes
Jeremy Lin stars in return to MSG as Rockets rout Knicks | Video
Syracuse holds on for Jim Boeheim's 900th career victory
ThePostGame: Ryan Lochte gives away World Championship medal

View Comments (587)
  • Ex-Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis joins Anaheim Ducks' front office as scout, consultant

    Former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis has joined the Anaheim Ducks' front office as a special assignment scout and consultant to general manager Bob Murray. The Ducks announced the hiring Friday. Nonis was fired by the Maple Leafs … More »

    The Canadian Press - 12 hours ago
  • Ex-Leafs GM Nonis now Ducks consultant

    Former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis has joined the Anaheim Ducks' front office as a special assignment scout and consultant to general manager Bob Murray. The Ducks announced the hiring Friday. Nonis was swept out along with … More »

    AP - Sports - 12 hours ago
  • Kings keep D McBain with 1-year deal

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Defenseman Jamie McBain has agreed to a one-year deal to return to the Los Angeles Kings. … More »

    AP - Sports - 12 hours ago
  • Ducks sign veteran C Horcoff for 1 year

    Veteran center Shawn Horcoff has agreed to a one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks announced the deal Friday. Horcoff had 29 points and a plus-9 rating in 76 games for the Dallas Stars last season. … More »

    AP - Sports - 12 hours ago
  • Saad, Jackets agree to 6-year, $36M deal

    Saad, Jackets agree to 6-year, $36M deal

    Stanley Cup winner Brandon Saad signed a six-year, $36 million contract with his new team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, on Friday. Saad, 22, was acquired from Chicago earlier this week. Saad, who was vacationing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina when … More »

    AP - Sports - 13 hours ago