- A Pittsburgh Penguins Blog © 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009

Sidney Crosby Makes Right Decision, Misses All-Star Game

When I saw THIS a few days ago I was concerned. Yes, Sidney Crosby was the leading vote-getter in the NHL, but the All-Star Game is a joke. We all know it. So the very idea that Sidney Crosby would play in the game despite an injury was concerning. The Pittsburgh Penguins need Crosby healthy if they hope to make the playoffs this year. They can't have him running off to a popularity contest and injuring himself.

Missing the game gives Crosby more than a week without a hockey game and it is the right decision for him to make.

I understand the pressure Sidney Crosby must have felt. Like it or not, he is the face of the league. The NHL went nuts with press releases, telling the world how Crosby received more votes than any NHL all-star ever. He was supposed to be one of the centerpieces of the game. I am sure there was some people within the NHL that wanted Crosby to play despite the injury. I am sure there was a lot of coercion coming from the league's offices in New York. I'm sure people were telling him to show up for the game, pose for some photos, do a few interviews and, if the injury was an issue, to play the game at half speed.

But that's the problem. Sidney Crosby doesn't do anything at half speed. When he is on the ice he works hard. That hard work is one of his greatest attributes, but it could also cause him to injure himself in a glorified exhibition game.

In the end Sidney Crosby made the decision to do what is right for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

And, when you think about it, it's actually the right decision for the NHL as well. Yes, Crosby in the All-Star Game might bring the league some publicity, but Sidney Crosby leading the Pittsburgh Penguins back into the playoffs will provide them with even better publicity. Sidney Crosby and the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Red Wings last season gave the NHL it's highest ratings in years. Yes, that rating had a lot to do with the overall quality of the two teams involved, but Sidney Crosby's presence was definitely a factor.

Besides, if Crosby were injured in the All-Star Game that would likely decrease the ratings for all of the other Penguins games shown on NBC and Versus this year. And for what? A possible small blip in the ratings for the All-Star Game?

The All-Star Game is one of the least popular events on the NHL calendar. I'm sure the NHL would rather have a healthy Crosby leading the Penguins into the playoffs (and boosting those ratings) than appearing in one poorly-watched game.

The Pittsburgh Penguins would definitely want that.

Also, we're still Boycotting the NHL All-Star Game and we'd love you to join us.

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