Is Sidney Crosby a Hypocrite?

It’s been almost a full year now that Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins¬†has been the face of concussions and concussion recovery in the NHL. He is the reason why so much attention is given to head shots now and when Sid the Kid was taken out for 10 months due to a concussion, it was time for the league to sit up and take notice. During those 10 months, Sidney went from looking at retirement to full recovery, all the while in between touting the importance of head shots, and how seriously they need to be taken. But, is Sidney now eating crow, after a highly debatable hit on Nick Foligno of the Ottawa Senators on Friday night.

The hit came after Foligno knocked into Pittsburgh’s goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, three times, after which the Penguins were a bit fed up and took matters into their own hands. Sidney Crosby came up to meet Nick Foligno on the ice and swiftly gave him an elbow to the head. The play wasn’t called and the game continued. Afterwards though, harsh words were exchanged by all.

Bryan Murray, GM of the Senators, said after the game that everyone thought it was fair game, and that’s fine with him. He also pointed to the fact that his tough players weren’t on the ice that night saying, “We didn’t have enough toughness, so when we play Pittsburgh that’s something you can bring up to me again.”

Dan Bylsma, coach of the Penguins, blamed the hit completely on Foligno harassing their goalie all night, saying that “he can expect more than Sidney Crosby coming at him and talking to him during the game. That’s how we feel about those situations.”

The problem doesn’t seem to be with the play itself. With NHL disciplinarian, Brendan Shanahan, stating it was a good hit; the refs on the ice at the time saying it was a good hit; and just about everyone but the Senators saying the same thing, that much seems clear. But while the biggest question in the NHL a week ago was whether or not Sidney Crosby would get special treatment on-ice post-concussion, it’s a different question they’re asking now: is Sidney Crosby a hypocrite? Where is the Sidney who, while undergoing concussion recovery, talked about how important it was to respect players? And urged players to remember that at the end of the day, it is just a game?

It seems that Sidney may have worn off along with that white no-contact helmet he was wearing for a little while. And while he may be back, it’s fairly obvious that from here on out, Sidney Crosby will be given no special treatment when he takes the ice. And that’s probably just the way he likes it.

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