Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins takes his first drink from the Stanley Cup following a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings during Game 7. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
Have to agree with writers questioning those who questioned Sidney Crosby’s championship etiquette Friday night after his Penguins won the Stanley Cup in Detroit.
First of all, I’m surprised the chaos on Joe Louis Arena’s playing surface didn’t result in a sea of snafus. The league ought to be commended for its commitment to media access, but it looked like a dress rehearsal for the Where’s Waldo picture out there.
But more importantly, can we please get past the over-the-top Crosby-derangement syndrome? I get that Crosby represents hockey’s old guard in the NHL’s ongoing, endlessly fascinating culture clash, but taking that disenchantment to the point where people believe the Penguins captain ought to star as Damien in the next Omen sequel is asinine.
Crosby is a very, very, very good player going through the same, bumpy maturing process that others before him have gone through. Holding him to an impossible standard says more about some humorless, empathy-empty hockey fans than it does about No. 87.
• My favorite moment of the post-game festivities – other than watching THNers Edward Fraser, Ken Campbell, Ted Cooper and Brian Costello on the ice, wandering in and out of camera view like some warped spin-off of Lost – came when ace CBC reporter Scott Oake asked Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury what was going through his head during the final scramble of the game.
“I said, ‘Oh, shirt,’ ” Fleury said, innocently forgetting a crucial ‘r’ in that four-word statement.
“Fair enough,” Oake replied, probably thankful Fleury didn’t follow the leads of Philippe Boucher, Hal Gill and Petr Sykora, each of whom dropped some significant f-bombs when they were handed the Cup.
• Speaking of special moments, thanks to THN.com reader “seattlemetropolitans,” here’s video of another stirring, emotional Cup handover moment.
Makes you wonder how the situation could be remedied, doesn’t it?
• Now that the best playoffs I’ve seen in a decade with THN is at an end, let’s turn to this slap in the face from the cold, coarse hand of reality.
The affordability of the amateur game, as well as its appeal to drastically shifting North American demographics, is the elephant in the room too few hockey administrators are willing to discuss.
Anybody who thinks Gary Bettman, Paul Kelly and the NHL don’t have a huge stake in helping to cultivate new hockey players and fans needs anti-myopia therapy in a hurry.
Adam Proteau, co-author of the book The Top 60 Since 1967, is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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