Skip to content

IIHF apologizes to Crosby, NHL

May 20, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

Comments Off

Yesterday we covered an
article by IIHF communications director Szymon Szemberg
that
blasted Sidney Crosby and a number of other NHL players for declining to
participate in this year’s World Championships in Germany. It was a
scathing article that attacked the players for “forgetting what brought
them riches and fame” and that they have abandoned their countries for
not playing.

As expected, there was some fairly heated response to
the article. Hockey Canada, Gary Bettman and a number of hockey
officials were incensed with the tone of the article, one which
threatened to sour the good feelings between NHL, the players and the
IIHF.

I’m sure that hearing how bad a person you are for not
playing will certain make players want to play next year.

Since
yesterday’s article made the rounds, including a heated retort by Hockey
Canada, the post has since been taken down from IIHF’s website and the
president of Internation Ice Hockey Federation
has personally apologized to Sidney Crosby’s agent:

“I sincerely believe that Rene Fasel was sorry for the inappropriate
comments made towards Sidney and the other players,” Brisson told The
Canadian Press.

Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson discussed the issue with Fasel
on Thursday, calling it a “very positive meeting.” He said Fasel
apologized for “the tone” of the article and the way it referred to
Crosby.

Crosby was one player who was singled out by Szemberg, but he was
just one of many attacked by the article. As I stated yesterday, I can
understand the frustrations associated with having so many players
decline to play this summer but this was by far not the right way going
about voicing that displeasure.

That Hockey Canada — the organization that decides who plays for the
national team — never expected Crosby or any other Olympic players to
take part in the World Championships this summer just shows how
different the expectations might have been between the national teams
and the IIHF. Or, at least, Szymon Szemberg.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Harding (1695)
  2. C. Price (1678)
  3. M. Staal (1641)
  4. A. Ekblad (1541)
  5. J. Giguere (1525)