Was Sid out-of-line?

History was made Friday night when Sidney Crosby became the youngest captain in National Hockey League history to hoist the Stanley Cup. Yet, days later, it is what Crosby didn’t do that continues to make headlines.

Members of the Detroit Red Wings allege that Crosby’s prolonged celebration at game 7’s end, which led to a few missed handshakes, was “disrespectful” to them, and their captain, Nicklas Lidstrom. Today, on the same day the Penguins marched through the streets of Pittsburgh celebrating their Cup victory, several Detroit players re-iterated their displeasure with the 21-year old superstar.

“I think that’s one thing you should do,” said Henrik Zetterberg as the Red Wings cleaned out their lockers for the summer. “I don’t know why he didn’t do it, it’s disrespectful.”

Zetterberg was still lined up when Crosby made his way to centre ice to shake hands. Lidstrom, was not.

“You know you’re happy and celebrating with your teammates,” Lidstrom said. “But you know the losing team wants to get off the ice too. Sidney was probably caught up in the emotions and everything.”

Caught up in the emotions of winning a first Stanley Cup. Is that really so bad? You be the judge.

 
Did Sidney Crosby “snub” the Red Wings?

In 2008, the Red Wings spent exactly 2 minutes and 10 seconds celebrating, from the final whistle, to the first handshake. This past Friday, the Penguins celebrated for 2 minutes and 15 seconds between the same two points. A difference of 5 seconds. However, it took Crosby a total of 3 minutes and 35 seconds to join the line, a full minute and twenty seconds after his teammates started shaking hands.

And that is why the Red Wings are so ticked, because Sidney Crosby was 1 minute and 20 seconds late. Not because they lost the Stanley Cup, on home ice mind you, but because Crosby was 80 seconds late to take part in a ritual that has no set start time.

Perhaps instead of chastising Crosby, the media, the Red Wings and the rest of the National Hockey League should look beyond a minor inconvenience and focus on the big picture. Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final generated the highest American television audience (8 million viewers), for an NHL game in 36 years. I have my doubts that a Wings – Hurricanes Final would have garnered such attention. Perhaps the Red Wings should worry less about defending their captains honour off the ice and more about protecting him on the ice. It was revealed Sunday that Lidstrom underwent testicular surgery after being speared by Chicago’s Patrick Sharp in the Conference Final. Or perhaps this is just an outlet for a team that is used to winning, to vent its frustration. One thing is for sure, if getting caught up in the moment of realizing a life long dream, to the tune of missing a few handshakes, is the worst thing anyone can say about Sidney Crosby, then I choose to commend, not criticize him. After all, it’s not like he skipped out on the handshakes on purpose, (see Lebron James).

In the years to come, when history reflects on the 2009 Stanley Cup Final , it will remember Sidney Crosby for what he accomplished, not how he celebrated those accomplishments.

That being said, Crosby is well aware that you can’t please all the people all the time.

Prior to this incident, the knock on Sidney Crosby was, perhaps he yapped a little too much, complaining to the officials. Well, now the ‘complainer’ is a champion, and the former champions are left with nothing to do but…….complain.

M.P. Kelly

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9 Comments

  1. Very well written…anyone who disrespects Mr. Crosby is so far from a true hockey fan it is unbelievable . At 21 years of age, he has taken his team, as the captain, to 2 Cups and got to sleep with it after his second, to go along with his WJC gold medal. He has an MVP and scoring title under his belt and will no doubt be playing a HUGE role with hockey Canada in the upcoming years. This man is directly correlated with the NHL’s success since the lock-out and is the most identified player since the Gretzky days. As far as the Red Wings comments, the guys who are talking have won too many times to remember what it must feel like to win a Cup for the first time. In my opinion they should have shown Crosby a little more respect and waited for him, Lidstrom is the one in the wrong for not seeking out and giving congrats to his fellow Captain for winning the Cup for the first time. Sour Grapes losing a game they were told they would win.

  2. Mr. Faller: when you call Sidney “Cindy” as a derogatory term, do you imply that women are worth no respect? If so, I disagree!

    By the way, Sid/Cindy gets a lot of respect from Penguins players and Penguins fans… ;)

  3. Sour grapes…

  4. Todd Maternowski says:

    No doubt the handshake snub caused Lidstrom to miss that shot with seconds left. Too much emotional trauma… there oughta be a law!

  5. Shawn Lesky says:

    Mr. Faller, by using the word “Cindy” instead of the proper Sidney it is you that is the baby!

  6. Jon Henriza says:

    I also disagree with Mr. Faller. Calling Crosby a joke, is the biggest joke of all. If not being respected by fans or other players means that he will continue to win Cups then so be it. He is 21, but he is mature enough to know that he can’t please everyone and he will stick to his convictions regardless of how they are perceived by others. That in itself commands respect.

  7. I have to disagree with Mr. Faller. While Sydney is not perfect – he is only 21. Some of my best days at 21 were spent on a bar room floor staring at the ceiling thinking I still had a chance with the cute blond that left with my buddy 45 minutes prior.
    Crosby is now a Champ. He lead his team to the highest level possible in his sport – for this he gets my respect.

  8. John Faller says:

    Cindy Crosby is a joke. he always will be, no matter how many cups he wins or what he accomplishes. he’s a baby, and gets no respect from fans or other players because of the way he plays.

  9. I wrote a similar piece over at Bleacher Report about people complaining about Sid’s complaining. I do actually think it was a lack of maturity that led to this perceived snub, but not in the way that Flyers fans want to think. He was caught up in the moment and did not think about how every action might be perceived while dealing with the win, the press, and the history…I bet Lidstrom is classy enough to get over it, and so should Draper (who is one of my favourite players, incidentally).

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