While Tom Wilson and Sidney Crosby share a love of the outdoors, they apparently almost literally shared the ice as teammates, too. The two rivals were both among the final group of Canadian hockey players being considered for the last Winter Olmypics.
Wilson sat down with Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on the 32 Thoughts Podcast when he was out in Las Vegas for the NHL’s preseason Media Tour. The three chatted about the national team process and Wilson potentially playing with Crosby.
Friedman kicked off the convo by asking if Wilson was ever told that he was for sure making the last Canadian Olympic Team or not.
“I was never told if I was on that team, no,” Wilson said. “But I know that I was in the hunt. What I was told, the last time, was there was a couple guys left for one spot and I still was at the table. So I don’t know how much validity or truth there is to that.
“That whole experience was pretty crazy for me because Team Canada is just like a different monster, right? Like it’s just this team that is held up at the highest, the best players in the world, and all the superstars. So that was pretty, pretty cool.”
Wilson confirmed that he was undergoing IOC testing in December of 2021 due to being on Canada’s long list of 55 players in contention for a roster spot at the 2022 Games. Unfortunately, just weeks later the NHL and NHLPA reached an agreement to not have players go to Beijing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While Wilson’s participation was still very much up in the air, Crosby was for sure going to head to China as his spot was confirmed months earlier. The Pittsburgh Penguins superstar, like many other stars around the league, has not played national team hockey since the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Friedman continued by asking if Wilson had ever thought about what it would like to share a locker room with Crosby. “It doesn’t really count, but I was chatting with him yesterday when he was coming off the ice, and [he’s] such a great, great person,” Wilson said. “I haven’t crossed paths with him off the ice much. We haven’t got into it too much on the ice either. So considering the rivalry, I just tried to make sure that he doesn’t make me look bad out there, but he seems like a great person.
“And I mean, to be in that room with the caliber of players that were on those calls and doing some of the meetings leading up to the Olympics was just, it was definitely kind of a ‘pinch-me’ moment to be mentioned with some of those names.”
Wilson was a major part of the Stanley Cup winning Capitals team in 2018 so that portion of his hockey bucket list is already crossed off but he admits that Olympic gold was also on it. The 2026 Winter Olympics will take place in Italy. Wilson will be 32 years old by then and the league still hasn’t come to a conclusion on whether or not players will go to the tournament yet.
“When you’re a kid on the backyard rink when you’re growing up, it’s NHL, Stanley Cup, Team Canada gold medal,” Wilson said. “I mean, that’s the hockey resume that matters most to every Canadian kid — Olympic gold medal, I should say. And I think growing up, seeing some of those teams, seeing Sid score that goal in Vancouver, those moments are just such proud hockey moments and something that every kid that’s playing the game dreams of doing. I mean, it never happened, so it’s fun to talk about it; who knows if I would have been there, but just to be part of that process and to be mentioned in that group of players was pretty cool.”
Although the NHL not going to the Olympics and the circumstances surrounding that decision were very sad, at least Caps fans did not have to stomach seeing Crosby and Wilson in the same goal celebration hug. Gross.
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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