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Penguins deny meeting for Crosby captaincy replacement

Jan 18, 2012, 12:21 PM EDT

crosbyap AP

Last week, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Dejan Kovacevic raised some eyebrows by reporting a group of Penguins players held a 45-minute meeting to discuss a temporary replacement for injured captain Sidney Crosby.

Yesterday, veteran winger Craig Adams vehemently denied the meeting took place.

“Ask every person in this room right now, point-blank, and they’ll deny it,” Adams said. “Knowing the people in this room, I don’t think that could happen here. And for it to be a topic of conversation, for some of our fans to think it did happen, that’s pretty sad.”

Pens GM Ray Shero also denied there was a meeting, though it should be noted the Tribune-Review says it stands by Kovacevic’s original report.

For some additional context into this situation, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada addressed the replacement captaincy issue (and Kovacevic’s article) on Saturday’s Hotstove segment. Here’s the transcription of what was said by host Ron MacLean and the Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis.

MacLean: The story came out of the assertion that the Penguins, within the room, said, “Look, if Sid can’t play, we need a captain.”

Francis: I spoke to Craig Adams, who’s one of the veteran leaders on that team, and he said absolutely no truth to it whatsoever and that the article really took them by surprise, that it really infuriated guys in that room, because they never saw it coming. This is a guy, who wrote this, who they say they’re totally unfamiliar with — he’s never been in their room, doesn’t know any of the players. So they took total exception to that and said there’s no truth to it.

Shortly thereafter, Kovacevic addressed Francis’ comments on Twitter.

“I’ve made my position clear and I know what’s behind it, as do the editors,” he said. “There’s a process at any newspaper. All sources disclosed.”

  1. jpelle82 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    needs to be orpik

    • napoleonblownapart6887 - Jan 18, 2012 at 4:30 PM

      They’re not going to take the C off of Sid’s sweater (alliteration is fun!), but if they were Brooksy, Adams, and maybe Malkin would be the first in line to get it.

      My vote would be for Richard Park but I’m an idiot.

  2. solador78 - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    If the Pens players wanted a new captain, it’s because they know that Sid is “probably” never coming back.

  3. obamablowz - Jan 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Even as a Flyers fan, I can say this is a terrible day for hockey. As much as I dislike this guy when he plays Philadelphia, it is not the same watching Flyers/Pens without him. Hopefully he sits the entire season and comes back next year healthy.

    • wschopp - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:53 AM

      So true. Games against the Flyers in Philly and the Caps in Washington lacked the usual drama and excitement. The entire NHL needs Crosby healthy just as much as the Pens do.

  4. psujay - Jan 18, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    Meh, no big story. It even says “If Sid can’t play we need a temporary captain.” It’s not like the team is saying they don’t want him to be their captain. They’re just saying on the ice they need someone to have the respect from the refs that a C garners.

  5. stakex - Jan 18, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    I don’t know why this is such a big story. One would think it would be a no brainer for the team to name an interim captain since it seems likely Crosby will not play again this year. After all, how can Crosby possibly function as the captain when hes not with the team that much, and when he is, hes watching the game from the press box. The Pens, like every team, need someone to function at the captain at all times… and since Crosby can’t do that, why would it be a big deal to name a temp captain?

    The strange thing is the big deal the Pens make about denying the story. Its like they are afraid to hurt Crosby’s feelings or something. I might not like the guy, but I doubt hes THAT sensitive.

  6. critter69 - Jan 18, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    “There’s a process at any newspaper. All sources disclosed.”

    Yes there is a process. But it is the editors of the paper to which the sources are disclosed. And if the editors determine that disclosing the source or sources will mean no more information on a possibly evolving story will be obtained if they disclose source(s), they will not disclose the source through articles in the newspaper.

    As an example, Deep Throat and other sources for information in the Watergate fiasco (fiasco mostly for Tricky Dick). The reporters knew the names of many of the sources, and the editor also knew those names of sources, but they did not print the names of the sources in the newspaper.

  7. wschopp - Jan 19, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    There is no way this happened. The Pens are a very close-knit bunch and Crosby is loved by all his teammates for the fact he is the best player on the planet and a great guy in the room. The teams was in the midst of a 6 game losing streak and if they were winning at the time, there would be no such story. It is frustrating for the team, the fans and Crosby himself to not be able to play. Remember, Crosby has been playing this game since he was a young kid and this is all he knows, it must be killing him not to play. To the Crosby detractors out there, It isn’t about money, he could easily be paid double what he makes but wont go any higher due to him wanting to win and having good teammates around him. If Ovie is getting $12M/yr, Crosby could easily be getting $15-20M/yr. I wish people would stop questioning this guy’s character and just enjoy him as a player, he is fantastic to watch and brings excitement to any building he visits, especially Washington and Philly.

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