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Is Crosby's popularity at risk?

Mar 12, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

I know that we’re all tired about hearing about Sidney Crosby, his
equipment and his ‘snub’ of Letterman last week. Even for the
non-haters, I’m sure it’s getting to be a bit much.

Just one more, but it’s topical.

Molinari answers a reader’s question
on whether Crosby’s Olympic
goal will hurt his overall popularity in the United States.

There’s no real precedent for something like this — no player who
was active in the NHL at the time (yes, that includes Peter Forsberg in
1994) has scored an Olympic goal like the one Crosby got in overtime of
the gold-medal game — so there’s no way of being certain how his
treatment by fans in U.S. cities will change, if it does at all.

The guess here is that the U.S. fans who disliked him before the
Olympics will continue to do so, and that those who liked (or, at least,
respected) him going into the Games aren’t going to have their opinion
seriously altered by his championship-clinching goal.

One would like to believe that rational people — and more than a few
fans have proven, with their words and deeds since the Olympics, that
their membership in that group has lapsed — understand that Crosby was
representing his country and wanted to do everything possible to help
his team win the tournament, just as every guy who pulled on a U.S.
sweater did.

Just judging by the comments over the past week on PHT, it’s obvious
that Crosby has a number of hockey fans that don’t like him, and I doubt
that he won many over during the Olympics. At the same time, I really
don’t see how the fact that he scored against the USA in the Olympics
will hurt his popularity in the U.S.; fans who want to hate him, will.

What the U.S. needs is an American superstar who is one of the best
players in the NHL scoring a bunch of points each season. Hmmmm…..

  1. Joe Pelletier - Mar 12, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    That American superstar is coming, probably in this decade. The depth of the young American talent pool that will be hitting the NHL in the coming few years will be staggering.
    Joe Pelletier

  2. Wangedwing - Mar 13, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    Crosby’s popularity isn’t really based on his ability to play hockey, if it was, he wouldn’t have become as popular as he has. Can he play betcha. Is he the best player in the NHL? NOPE, he’s not even the best player on his team. Is he a captain for the ages..again, No. Steve Yzerman shows us how its done, Crosby should read his biography, and learn a few things about being a captain. Leading by example and so forth. I think the biggest knock on Crosby tho, is his propensity to run to the ref every time he feels he’s wronged..whether he has been or not. This is what gets fans ire up. You can be the best hockey player in the world, but if your gonna cry each time you get knocked down, eventually, fans are going to stop admiring you, and start jeering you.

  3. hockeyfan - Mar 13, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    I don’t understand how we can judge whether crosby is or isn’t going to be as good a captain as stevey y until he plays out his career.
    As for the “crying” claim, talking with the refs to get your point across is good hockey sense…if a call goes Pit’s way, all the better…get over it.

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