There has been a lot of talk around the Twittersphere about the concept of Sydney Crosby, the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, being suspended. You can see a clip of precisely what people are up in arms about below, and Marc Methot is helping fuel that fire.
Here’s the thing hockey fans, the NHL cannot afford to sit Crosby more games. Hear me out; it is not as simple as “was what Crosby did stupid and dangerous?” The obvious answer to that is yes. That said, Crosby is a critical superstar to the NHL’s success. This isn’t the first time Crosby has found himself in “hot water” with the rest of the league, but the department of player safety has turned a blind eye. The reasons are endless, but let’s cover a few.
AIS (Ass in Seats)
The Penguins need to sell tickets, and the NHL wants them to sell more tickets. In the end, they all win. The challenge here is for the Penguins to sell tickets. The captain and superstar of their team needs to be playing, and believe it or not, that’s been a rather significant challenge this year. Crosby started the year injured and did not lace up until the game against the New Jersey Devils on October 30th. In that game, he was a minus-3 and didn’t provide any offense or upside. After that game, Crosby headed to the COVID protocol list and wouldn’t play another game until that November 14th game against Washington, where the incident took place. By the way, he also scored no goals and was a minus-1 in that game. This brings us to point two.
Superstars Need to Superstar
Crosby is a minus-4 in his two games played this season and has zero points. Need I remind you that it is currently November 16th, and we are talking about one of the league’s biggest superstars having zero points. That isn’t good. If the Department of Player Saftey stepped in and served him even a two-game suspension, you’re going to take away all of the flow and function he just gained from skating in that one game. In addition to the fact that the call was not penalized (it should have been), the league has no reason to force a suspension on this play.
Here’s the deal. The NHL has many options as to how to handle discipline with a player of Crosby’s caliber, but the truth is there is no reason to. Crosby didn’t draw the penalty in the game, he didn’t cause injury to the player, and most of us will forget this ever happened in a day or two. You might ask yourself, why not even a fine? That’s a great question there is no good answer to, other than the league wants to draw attention away from the topic as quickly as possible and in true NHL fashion, don’t realize the fastest way to do that is to fine him the max amount under the CBA and move along.