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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sidney Crosby addresses Alexander Semin's Comments has just posted a story where Crosby responds to Semin's comments from last week.

“It’s not like I need a reason to be motivated,” Crosby said. “I feel like I’m a pretty motivated person anyways. I don’t feel like that kind of stuff changes the way I play. I’ve been criticized before. It’s one of those things I have to deal with. I don’t read into it a whole lot.”

Last week Alexander Semin had a few things to say about Sidney Crosby when he spoke to Puck Daddy of Yahoo! Sports:

What's so special about [Crosby]? I don't see anything special there. Yes, he does skate well, has a good head, good pass. But there's nothing else. Even if you compare him to Patrick Kane from Chicago ... [Kane] is a much more interesting player. The way he moves, his deking abilities, his thinking on the ice and his anticipation of the play is so superb.

I think that if you take any player, even if he is "dead wood," and start promoting him, you'll get a star. Especially if he scores 100 points. No one is going to care about anyone else. No one is going to care whether he possesses great skill. Let's say you put someone in front of the net and let him deflect pucks in, and he scored 50 goals; everyone will say "Wow!" and then hand him a $10 million per year contract. That's what they like here.

I don't think anyone is surprised that Crosby gave a very PR answer to the Semin question. Crosby has had media training since he was a child and he knows exactly what the right answer is in every situation.

I'll give Semin credit, he does have a point. The media training and his role as "spokesperson for the NHL" have made Sidney Crosy a pretty boring person, at least off the ice. Ovechkin is more interesting when he speaks and he has more of an "attitude." Sidney Crosby is not "cool." People respect him for his athletic ability, and even because he seems to be an upstanding citizen, but he's not a "rock star." Ovechkin is. I think that was Semin's point. He called Crosby "dead wood" because of his personality, not his on ice ability.

Crosby's response plays right into that. It was very "white bread." It was very Sidney Crosby. I wonder if this boring, relaxed, calm personality is actually the real Sidney Crosby or is all of it just an act? He understands his role in promoting the game and makes a point to convey respect and dignity whenever he speaks, but is that really who he is? And, if not, will we ever see another side of him?

Semin has another point, the NHL has put all of their eggs in one basket with Crosby. People like Semin, Ovechkin, Kane, and even Evgeni Malkin are not given a fraction of the spotlight that Crosby is. I can see why they would be frustrated. I watched a Washington/Pittsburgh game on NBC last year and Crosby wasn't in the lineup due to injury. The announcers still mentioned him more than anyone else in the game. Even as a Penguins fan it was annoying.

I can tell you one thing though, between Ovechkin seemingly running Malkin whenever possible and Semin insulting Crosby, the NHL must be drooling. The next Pittsburgh/Washington game is scheduled for January 14th. The league has been pushing for an Ovechkin/Crosby rivalry since day one and they haven't really gotten it, but a renewed Capitals/Penguins rivalry would be just as good - if not better.

If only they would meet in the playoffs.

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