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Should Sidney Crosby break his silence?

Aug 24, 2011, 11:48 AM EDT

Sidney Crosby AP

During the last two weeks, the rumors about Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby‘s health have ramped up once again. In a way, it’s a bit like the Phoenix Coyotes situation in injury form: an important story with plenty of ups and downs but few concrete details, which can make the process frustrating for onlookers.

Joe addressed the latest round of scuttlebutt by asking everyone to relax, but many hockey people are struggling to deal with the murky nature of Crosby’s health situation. If their public comments are a true indication of their knowledge of the situation – rather than a smokescreen – then the Penguins organization seems like it’s just as confounded about their biggest star’s progress as anyone else.

Ultimately, the only answer to one of the off-season’s biggest (and most troubling) questions is a shoulder shrug. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Dejan Kovacevic brings up an interesting point, then: doesn’t Crosby owe it to the Penguins – and to a far lesser extent, the hockey world – to keep his team more informed about his situation?

Look, I’m not suggesting that he reports to Pittsburgh and spends his entire summer under team supervision. He’s a grown man, an athlete is due his offseason, and the employer has no control over that. Nor am I suggesting Crosby isn’t due his privacy, particularly in light of his usual fishbowl existence. Nor am I ignoring that he’s had a rough few months. For all we know, it might still be rough for him.

But how about a call to the Penguins rather than vice versa?

How about a text?

Stick taps in Morse code?

The Penguins owe a lot to Crosby, but he surely owes them the courtesy of diligent, detailed updates on his health. To avoid doing so is as indefensible as it is inexplicable.

It’s a shame that the Penguins are less than a month from the start of camp, and Shero and Bylsma have so little information on the key component of their roster. It’s a shame that the public knows even less, not having heard from him since two days after last season ended.

It’s probably a little harsh to call Crosby’s lack of response “indefensible,” especially since it’s possible that he doesn’t know a whole lot more about his future than anyone else. Kovacevic does make an interesting point, though, and the very roots of the problem might come down to poor communication. At least that’s what Cassie McClellan argues in a provocative piece about Crosby’s situation; she believes that someone “looked the other way” when it came to his health after that initial David Steckel hit, whether it was the team’s staff, his teammates or Crosby himself.

And how about the ultimate scenario of everyone knowing everything? Crosby saying he’s okay, teammates – knowing that he’s not – going along with it, coaches – knowing that he’s not – are afraid to pull him, trainers – not saying too much because they don’t want to cause waves – letting it go, the GM – giving into pressures to keep the marquee player in the league in a marquee game – doesn’t say anything, and NHL officials in charge knowing what’s really going but taking everyone at face value. That’s not a conspiracy theory or anything; that’s just how these things can sometimes go. (I have a friend who’s an athletic trainer at the college level, and you’d be surprised just how willfully ignorant and/or flat-out in denial people can get around star players and their injuries.) If everyone knew, then everyone’s to blame.

At this point, it’s not about whose at fault for Crosby’s situation, but one can argue that the situation is still being handled in a way that seems strange to outsiders. Maybe the Penguins/Crosby are controlling information for tactical reasons, but the lack of concrete updates about the NHL’s biggest names lends itself to rumor mongering and doomsday proclamations. It’s doubtful that things would change much if Crosby shed some light on the situation, but Kovacevic is among those who believe that he should break his silence anyway.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner.)

  1. seanb20124 - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    HIPPA

  2. abrienza428 - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    I agree he should break his silence, and I’m sure he will come training camp in a few weeks. I don’t think there’s much of a point in doing it before that.

    As far as him communicating with the organization, I would bet they already know everything there is to know. They are probably disclosing some information, but I doubt they are in the dark about the situation.

  3. icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    As long as he is communicating with the organization then he is doing all he needs to do. He doesn’t have to tell the fans anything. Would it be nice to tell the Pens fans? Sure. But he doesn’t have to.

  4. jasncondit - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    No way. Keep him silent! It is hard to shut up his whiny mouth when he gets going.

  5. Kevin Jameson - Aug 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    Everyone seems to want Sid to tell them something, but even he doesn’t know what to make of this situation.

    http://pittsburghsportscuts.wordpress.com/2011/08/23/43/

  6. canucks18 - Aug 24, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    LEAVE THE GUY ALONE!!!! You writers are such leaches! The guy doesn’t owe you anything so let him talk when he feels like talkin.

    • cannonblast14 - Aug 24, 2011 at 3:53 PM

      hes one of the best in the game and hes important marketing ploy for casual fans. He should absolutely come out. Why let the fans and everyone worry about it? No point other than for the attention.

      • abrienza428 - Aug 24, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        I guarantee you that the last thing Crosby enjoys is attention.

  7. yuckygeo - Aug 24, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    You’re taking answers from people who use terms like “upper body injury” at face value?

    And that piece by Cassie McClellen is hardly provocative. It’ pure speculation based on an 8 second video and some sort of “I played sports” experience.

  8. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle - Aug 24, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    No. It is the offseason. Let him enjoy the time away.

  9. ihateannouncers - Aug 24, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    STFU Dijon….

    I’m sure that Shero, Bylsma, Lemieux, etc. are well aware of Sid’s progress. The media / hockey world isn’t owed a thing. The only thing he owes the fans is to come back when he is ready and able to give 100%. Until then…Just shut up.

  10. stakex - Aug 24, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    The odds that the team doesn’t know exactlly whats going on with Crosby are slim to none. Just because they are being less then forthcoming with the public, doesn’t mean they don’t know more then they are saying.

    I hate Crosby and would never defend the guy… but he doesn’t have to tell anyone other then the team whats going on. If they don’t know whats up, then thats a non no. However he has no duty to tell anyone else at this point.

  11. skoobyfl - Aug 25, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    Let him get his head on straight, then chat.

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