They met at a Hockey Canada practice for the World Junior Championship in December 2003. Crosby was 16. Fleury was 19, the most recent first overall pick, and had already played for the Penguins. They were relative strangers, Crosby said.  “Well, I knew he was the first pick,” Crosby said, smiling.

After that practice, Crosby shot pucks into an empty net as Fleury huddled with coaches. Crosby sauced a softie toward the cage.

“All of a sudden, ‘Flower’ took, like, five shuffle steps, dove and swatted it away,” Crosby said. “I was like, ‘He really doesn’t like getting scored on.’