Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Crosby's Plight Could Be For The Best

Dave Shoalts of the Globe and Mail put out a story saying that Sidney Crosby would not attend the All-Star Game because the NHL hasn't be stringent enough when it comes to head shot. Crosby, as you know, as been out since January 5th due to concussion issues; many say because of the shot he took from David Steckel, then aggravated from a hit by Victor Hedman.

The Hockey News even went so far as tweeting that Crosby should be applauded for standing up for an unpopular opinion, showing he's a true captain. That's a bit too far in one direction, but he shouldn't be deemed as a whiner, as I'm sure many have stated on the internets.

The point in all of this is the name-- Sidney Crosby and the event-- the All-Star Game. Very few people would have the same pull or command the same kind of publicity as Sidney Crosby would. If it was someone who just barely got into the All-Star Game, like Tobais Enstrom or even a little bit of a bigger name, Martin St. Louis or Steven Stamkos-- it wouldn't get this much talk across the land. However, it was Crosby and because he's one of the NHL's top stars; he's going to get the attention for just opening his mouth.

However, this isn't a bad thing. In fact, Crosby getting knocked in the head could be the best thing for the game. While I wouldn't wish ill-will on Crosby regardless of how much I dislike him or his team, but the fact he's stepping up and speaking out on it-- the NHL could probably call a tighter game and actually enforce head shot penalties and suspensions. Crosby does have a lot a pull when he speaks and, like it or not, the fact he's stepping up-- the NHL HAS to take notice of it. They don't want to lose their star player or any other star player to something like this again.

Granted, many people are bring up the Marc Savard/Matt Cooke incident and wondering if Crosby stood up AGAINST his teammate when that happened. He actually did make some point, but not nearly the amount of noise that he is doing now. Which is too be expected, because first off-- you don't want to go against a teammate because you have to see him everyday and you have to play alongside him; you don't want to divide the room. And second, it actually happened to him and he's experiencing the side-effects from it. It's completely different when you watch an incident like that happen and then have it actually happen to you.

The end all be all is this-- the NHL needs to do something now to clearly penalize head shots and to explain why something is a head shot and something isn't a head shot. Personally, I don't think the Steckel hit was intentional on Crosby, but it was something that was anything but incidental. Stuff happens and you just have to deal with the consequences afterwords. The NHL said that the hit was kosher, so now it's how to do damage control from these comments.

For me, this whole thing is a fine line. You have to keep the hitting in the game, but for some reason they keep getting more and more borderline by the hit. Finding the balance is something that I don't think will be achieved and I don't envy who has to set the parameters when it comes to what's clean and what's not.

No comments: