Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Need vs. Want for Sidney Crosby

With the news of Sidney Crosby being out indefinitely again due to concussion-like symptoms, many people started to worry about the health of the young superstar. While I don't like him or his team, I definitely worry about his health because I'm not a total bastard. That said, the comparison from someone from Twitter that puts Crosby as the modern-day Lindros is a very worrisome thought.

Of course, you're going to get every pundit under the sun talking about concussions and their toll and the steps the NHL needs to do more when it comes to protecting the players-- next step is bubble-wrap, if I remember correctly. However, there's one thought that bothers me-- Sidney Crosby being out is bad for the NHL. The NHL needs Crosby.

With all due respect, the NHL does not need Sidney Crosby to play to survive. They want him to play because he is the marketing tool for the league, but the NHL does not need Crosby on the ice to promote a product.

That thought and people saying something to that extent is a slap in the fact to the 400-plus other players who will play in the NHL this season. While I understand what people are getting when they say the NHL needs Crosby, especially since he's been the center of everything they put out-- and with good cause of course-- but that's just the fault of the league for doing that. Since they put all their eggs in one basket, they run the risk of having them tumble and break-- for lack of a better analogy.

The NHL is kind of like the WWE. It's not just the gimmicks they pull out or the story lines created, it's the fact they can create stars if the players are given the right chance. Yes, skill will definitely get you noticed, but if you're not on the right team or have the right story or in the right area-- the NHL and their partners may not promote you-- which is their right. They need to sell tickets, they need to sell merchandise, so the even share cannot be there. There's plenty of guys with skill out in the league

If you didn't look it up, would you remember that Brian Elliott is tied for the lead in shutouts?? Heck, if you didn't look it up, would you know that Steven Stamkos is top-five in points and goals?? If anything, the Crosby injury allows the other players in the league to actually step up and showcase their skill and get their team that press, to get them those sales, to get them noticed and maybe make them better by adding players who want to be in the new hot-spot for the NHL. However, if the NHL and the other media doesn't push the players because it's not a "sexy" story-- that's a disservice to the fans, especially those who are trying to get into the game through TV games, yet only see maybe a dozen different teams through the year, if they're lucky.

Fact of the matter is this, Sidney Crosby is the pinnacle player and will continue to be when he gets back, whenever that may be. He has the credentials and hardware to always be at the top of mountain because he earned it through his actual skill and being exposed to the masses. Wouldn't it be great if someone else could actually get noticed for their skill and get exposed to the masses because Crosby's injured?? It's a bittersweet thought, but the more players and teams that are known to the fans means better health for the league as a whole.

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