Really, really strong column by Dejan Kovacevic at The Trib. You can read the whole thing here. Take your time and read it. And then go back and read it again. Halfway through, Dejan blasts you with this:
You're going to hear some of this stuff Friday when Crosby faces reporters at about noon in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. But let me lay this out now: The Penguins, the public and, yes, Crosby all need to learn how to handle this situation better in the future.
That begins with the locker room.
A few, certainly not all, of Crosby's teammates are of the mind that he's been symptom-free for a while, though they have no medical basis for that. Some think he should be playing. Some simply think he should be doing more to communicate, or at least be as visible as concussed defenseman Kris Letang.
Last week in Pittsburgh, according to three sources, a group of players held a 45-minute meeting to discuss a temporary captaincy. Another source disputed that any such meeting occurred.
If this meeting actually took place, dear God. Pretty sure Brutus held some secret meeting with some cronies, too, before giving Caesar the business.
Dejan takes on a variety of points in this article, many of which we posted earlier this week as we sampled everything we were hearing from Pens fans via Twitter and e-mails.
In the article, Dejan reminds everyone of three things:
- Crosby isn't fine.
- Crosby desperately wants to play.
- Crosby loves Pittsburgh.
Then there are the tales of tussles between management and the so-called Crosby camp.
Crosby's father, Troy Crosby, and his agent, Pat Brisson, do keep close tabs on him, and that rubs some the wrong way. But my understanding is that the issues between those men and the team have been hugely overblown. Or at least they have been since some bickering over the Penguins' bungling of the original concussion a year ago. Communications are fine, and relationships are fine.
Well, at least we now have documented proof that there was some bickering going on between the Crosby Camp and the team. Can't remember if that was ever put in black-and-white before.
Dejan's right in the fact that everyone has to stop the uninformed speculation and give this 24-year-old all-world talent some room to deal with something that is downright horrifying. We're as guilty as anyone when it comes to bizarre speculation. We won't go into the other stuff Dejan said about it being imperative that the Pens give Crosby a contract extension, mainly because our point of view on that is depressing as hell.
And we're tired of being depressed. Crosby will speak today and the Pens play tonight in Florida. It's all we got going for us right now.