"But what few have asked — commentator Greg Millen is the only voice I’ve heard on this angle — is whether the conditions during the Winter Classic at Heinz Field contributed to the incident.
In other words, did the NHL put its top attraction in jeopardy — and eliminate him from participating in not only recent games with the Penguins but also the all-star game — by staging the Winter Classic the way that it did?
Think about it. For starters, as Millen has pointed out, putting a hockey rink in the middle of a football field, with no stands close to the boards, totally changes the feel of the ice surface and the depth perception of the players.
Adding to the problem was the rain, clearly an unusual situation for any NHL player. It affected visibility as well as the ice for both skating and puck handling.
Finally, the game was moved to the evening from the afternoon, something that never happens in the NHL. Hockey players are creatures of habit — the morning skate, the afternoon nap, the pre-game meal — and even an afternoon game can throw them off. In this case, the players had to sit around and wait for hours between the original start time and the actual opening faceoff."
What the hell is this? This is one of the biggest reaches of all time. This argument of players being out of their comfort zones would have two legs to stand on if multiple players were injured and/or concussed during the game. But they weren't. Cox definitely has a motive for this, and maybe it's just 'cause he sucks, but we don't know what it is.
Next thing you know, Cox is gonna say the NHL is putting Crosby at risk because there are razor-sharp blades all around him every time he steps onto an ice surface.