Matthew Barnaby of Sirius XM recently reported that there is a “rift” between Pittsburgh Penguins’ Captain Sidney Crosby and Owner Mario Lemieux. The conversation came up during his radio show. And, while this story is still new and there hasn’t been much detail divulged on what the issue is, it’s very interesting to say the least.
— SiriusXM NHL Network (@SiriusXMNHL) November 25, 2015
According to Barnaby and Steve Kouleas, the situation dates back to when they were eliminated from the playoffs in 2014. They also discuss whether or not this may mean he’ll want out of Pittsburgh, or if there’s any indication the Penguins would be willing to trade him.
In order to form an opinion on whether or not this may be true, you have to ask yourself what is earned by leaking this information. In this case, there’s nothing positive that could come out of a feud between the Penguins’ legendary owner and the face of their franchise. In fact, with the team for sale, stories like this are the last thing Pittsburgh needs in the media. The Penguins are much more valuable with Crosby than they are without him and that will be something any potential buyer considers. Yet, here we are…
Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if there is tension between Crosby and Lemieux, as well as others in the Penguins’ front office. I also believe that Crosby and Mike Johnston aren’t seeing eye-to-eye. But, when you’re under the amount of pressure this group is, conflicts are bound to happen. I don’t imagine these “rifts” are anything more than normal frustrations that you and I experience every day at our jobs.
The challenge here is that we likely won’t be able to pry any additional information out of the Penguins on this topic. Questions regarding this conflict will be met with scripted answers that downplay the accusations. How much stock should you put into this report? Should you be concerned about Sidney Crosby wanting to leave the Penguins?
If the Penguins continue to struggle and fail to contend yet again, there could be more that develops from this. But, winning fixes everything in these situations. Crosby has shown that he’s nothing short of a consummate professional and Lemieux has done the same. I’m not overly concerned with Crosby’s happiness here yet. Of course, ‘yet’ is the key word in that sentence.