Pittsburgh Penguins captain and Team Canada hero Sidney Crosby is taking some heat south of the border...
No, he's not being accused of whining too much, nor is his offensive output being questioned after not scoring in a couple of (Olympic) games. No, this time Sid the Kid is be criticized for turning down an opportunity to read the Top Ten list on the "Late Show" with David Letterman.
NY Post writer Larry Brooks said on Sunday that Crosby blew the NHL's "golden chance" by snubbing the long-time late night host, also pointing out that last summer Crosby turned down NBC's "Today" show after winning the Cup - leaving him one rejection short of the American hat trick.
Golden chance for what? Brooks is acting like reading the Top Ten on Letterman is the ticket to getting NHL hockey back onto ESPN (or like he’d be the first NHLer to do it).
“It's difficult to understand why the NHL's most recognizable player and ambassador refused to spread the gospel” in the days after so many people in the US and Canada watched the Olympic final between the two countries.
Who cares? Is Sidney Crosby appearing on the “Late Show” going to put hockey over the cusp in the US? Get real!
Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero (and anyone from Hockey Canada, if you asked them I’m sure) backed up Crosby, telling The Canadian Press:
"At some point there's a responsibility, that he takes very seriously, about being a hockey player and preparing. To me, any criticism for Sidney isn't warranted. He does so much for the game, so much for the league. He's trying to do it all and it's unfortunate he can't do it all. But he does a lot. There's no one in the history of the game, (not) Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux, that's done more to promote the NHL than Sidney Crosby."
That last comment might be a bit of a stretch, but there’s no question Crosby has done a lot for he game in his short time at the top.
Larry Brooks suggests the NHL is “miffed” by the snub of Letterman – but I honestly don’t see how they could be upset at him. This seems to be the type of ‘grasping at straws’ story that gets guys like NY Rangers coach John Tortorella riled up.
I think some Americans are still just a little choked about losing that gold medal.