I'm going to wear that graphic out. Yes, I'm going to use "I" in this post because this is only my opinion. I hate the usage of the word "I" in posts but saying "we" at this point would be incorrect as this isn't the general opinion of the writers at this blog.
Differences of opinion are what makes blogging great, by the way.
Even if this post is correct, which I seriously doubt, and the "feel in the locker room is that Crosby should be playing," that doesn't mean that Crosby should actually be playing. There's clearly something wrong with him. Most people would say that he's suffering from concussion-related issues (whatever they may be.) Some people will say "he doesn't want to play." In the end, it doesn't matter why he isn't playing. He isn't playing. He just isn't.
Sidney Crosby loves the game of hockey, that has been shown at various points in his career. If he's not playing the game, it's because something is wrong. It's likely because he's injured. It could be because he doesn't feel right, as people like Madden have speculated. It could be because he's lost all confidence in himself and his game due to the injury. It could even somehow be that he now hates hockey. Whatever the reason is, he's not playing because of some issue.
If he doesn't feel up to playing, then he shouldn't be playing. If he comes back and he's 100% healthy but mentally unprepared, he won't be helping the team. He'll be tentative or distracted. He'll be unlikely to battle for the puck. He'll play with less intensity. That's bad for the team. If he's actually injured (which I believe he is) that's even worse for the team and even worse for Sidney Crosby.
A distracted or injured or otherwise less than optimal Sidney Crosby cannot effectively play hockey for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He could cost the team games and, even worse, he could risk another serious injury. Is this what anyone wants?
Sidney Crosby makes $8.7 million dollars to play hockey. Yes, any hockey player knows that they risk injury by stepping on the ice. However, Sidney Crosby currently feels that he is at an additional risk of injury by playing. Even from a pure investment standpoint, would you rather lose out on his $8.7 million this season or would you like to risk Sidney Crosby never playing hockey for the Pittsburgh Penguins ever again instead? Because if you force Sidney Crosby to play hockey right now you are risking his entire future with the team. He could be injured again if he plays. Seriously injured. Even if this random speculation is correct and he's 100% healthy but refusing to play (and how ridiculous does that sound?) you risk offending him to the point where he leaves the franchise for good if you force him to play. Is that what anyone wants? Do you want to "call Crosby out" until he plays hockey? Or do you just want a "Sidney Crosby update story" to satisfy your curiosity?
What's the positive of having Crosby play right now? The Pens make the playoffs? Maybe everything turns out great and the Pens win the Stanley Cup? Great!
Now what's the negative? Sidney Crosby never plays hockey for the Pittsburgh Penguins again or, even worse, Sidney Crosby never plays professional hockey again.
Weigh the pros and cons and see if you're so eager to point fingers now.
It's a game. Regardless of what happens this season, the Pittsburgh Penguins will still be here next year with a chance to win the Stanley Cup. However, if you mishandle this situation and Sidney Crosby is seriously injured or he becomes fed up with this circus, he might not be here next year at all. And that's not saying that Sidney Crosby is bigger than the Pittsburgh Penguins. That's knowing how to appropriately handle a personal and professional situation. If you call in sick to work do you want your boss and your coworkers yelling at you to come in while you're trying to rest in bed? Is that a company you want to work for?
Would you be calling out Mario Lemieux when he missed time due to a back injury? Are we actually talking about this because the Pens lost five games? Is that where we are as a fanbase? Seriously? And we're doing this because Mark Madden said so?