Penguins star Sidney Crosby has balanced on the delicate edge of restraint and candor during the NHL’s current lockout, showing just enough frustration to let hockey fans know that he’s not a corporate drone.
Well, after Monday’s usual workout at the Iceoplex in Southpointe, Crosby stepped off the edge and indulged his flesh-and-blood side much more.
According to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Josh Yohe, the NHL’s premier player lit into the league’s refusal to budge from its demands on player contract rights:
“It’s pretty one-sided,” Crosby said of the negotiations. “What have they given up to this point? They’re talking about taking away all the contracting rights. They’re not sure how they’re going to pay salaries. The questions I’d ask is why would we change that? I think we all think it’s the most competitive league in the world so why would you go and change that? The way contracts go and the way teams operate … if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
Crosby also told Yohe that he had a major problem with the way the NHL was using the media as a conduit to relay complaints about the NHL Players’ Association and its chief Donald Fehr:
“If the league has anything to say,” Crosby said, “they should say it in a meeting, not a reporter or a journalist. Say it in a meeting. All the other stuff doesn’t help anything. It’s not good for anyone.”
Suffice to say, Crosby is like most hockey fans (and journalists) in that the protracted labor negotiations have strained his patience significantly. Sid also told Yohe that he has to “ponder” playing in Europe as the lockout moves closer to two months in duration.
While it remains to be seen if cost of insurance will make Crosby’s skating for a non-NHL team prohibitive, this is the first time No. 87 has indicated he is seriously looking into all of his options.
In a nod to his optimistic nature, Crosby told Yohe “(t)here’s no reason why we can’t figure something out,” but today’s discourse still represents a new open approach for the Penguins pivot. Perhaps Crosby’s recent participation in the CBA talks have empowered him to speak his mind.
It probably won’t accelerate the glacier-like labor process, but hockey fans can take solace in the fact that the players are just as flummoxed as the fans.