First off I just want to say, this blog is not talking about Crosby's skill level. There is no question, he is a phenomenal hockey player, and arguably one of the best to ever play the game. He saved the Pittsburgh Penguins' franchise and brought more attention to the NHL. Sid the kid is one of the league's most valuable players. But sometimes the truth hurts, people need to wake up and realize that Sidney Crosby is not the little angel that everyone thinks he is!
When I evaluate hockey players there are three things I am looking for: Passion, Skill/Talent and Respect for the game. Crosby has the passion, he wants to win and be one of the most dominant hockey players in the league. He obviously has the skill, he's won a Stanley Cup, played in the Olympics and scored the Gold Medal winning goal. Sid makes everyone on the ice around him better. That to me is a sign of an amazing hockey player. But then you come to the last factor; respect for the game, and when I watch Sidney Crosby play the game I see a lack of respect for the game.
Now I'm not going to go all the way and say that Crosby is a dirty hockey player, because he isn't. But he is to quote Mike Milbury "A punk". He takes cheap shots at people, punches them in the face, slashes them, hits them from behind all stuff a little angel isn't supposed to do. But then as soon as somebody touches the kid, he falls/dives and then screams bloody murder at the referee's demanding a penalty. If you're going to dish it out, you have to be ready to get it back!
Crosby for obvious reasons has the NHL and the referees eating out of his hand, you constantly see him yapping with the refs between the whistles. Other hockey players hate this! Since Crosby get's away with everything it comes down to the other players to "keep him in check". They're sending a message to Crosby, that they're seeing everything he does out there and they aren't going to let it go like the refs and the league.
He's the player that everyone loves to hate, and before his first concussion incident he was nicknamed "crybaby". Ever since he entered the NHL in 2005 he has been diving, and whining to the refs. When a young player comes into the league you expect it to happen, since the player is generally smaller and a little intimidated. In Crosby's rookie season he became the first rookie to record both 100 points and 100 penalty minutes and was always complaining to the referee's. But normally as a young hockey player matures, they stop whining and complaining and just play the game, but Crosby hasn't stopped whining!
This sounds bad but when Crosby wasn't playing (due to injury) the game was more peaceful. Players weren't whining and diving half as much, and there were no coaching fights. Now that he's back it took him roughly 11 games to turn the league upside down, players like Crosby are the reason the game is changing and not in a good way. I'm not talking about hits to the head that cause concussions because those hits do need to go. But considering the league has already said if there is a rematch of the Stanley Cup finals with the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins, the league is going to have a talk with the referees and get them to crack down on the Bruins physicality. You know the game is going down the wrong path.
Sidney Crosby reminds me of the Canuck's Alex Burrows from earlier on in his career. Burrows dove all the time, complained to the media and referees, and even went as far as claiming that a referee had a "personal vendetta" against him. Then there was the whole "biting finger incident" in the Cup finals. But it seems like Burrows has turned a corner in his career, as we haven't heard any controversy surrounding him as of late. Now Burrows isn't of the same importance to the NHL that Crosby is but it's pretty much the same type of scenario.
One of the major annoying things with Crosby, is the fact he rarely fights! If you're going to take cheap shots at other players you need to answer the bell and fight, instead Crosby just skates away like he's done nothing wrong and then has a horrified look on his face when a player hits or slashes him! Grow up Crosby stop being such a diva and have some respect for your opponents and the game!
The major problem behind Crosby being the way he is, is because he's a major diva. All throughout his career ever since he was a little kid he got what he wanted, he became the captain of the Penguins at 19, the NHL and Garry Bettman worship the ground Crosby walks on!
Lately there have been a lot of questions about Crosby's character, and we're starting to see why. He takes cheap shots behind the play (which camera operators have been instructed not to show us replays of), whines at the referee's and the media, and can't handle what he dishes out. Bottom line, he's a diva who needs to grow up and mature a bit more. I don't think he should have been named captain so young, he wasn't ready and it's gone straight to his head.
No question Crosby is a superb hockey player and a huge star, but he needs to stop being a whiner and a diva. He's like that annoying little brother who you just want to punch in the face but your parents won't let you! If Crosby keeps pushing the envelope with cheap hits, one day someone is going to level him and it will be the last we hear from Sidney Crosby. The sad thing is it will Crosby's fault, you could say, he has it coming! This is not the legacy most players would aspire to.