Saturday, September 22, 2007

Crosby's Many Roles

It's well known that Sidney Crosby wears many hats. He's a son, a brother, a hockey player, a fashion mogul, a product spokesman, an award winner, the captain of his team, record breaker, the biggest star of the NHL, and the role model for kids across the world. Despite all of this, he remains shockingly grounded. That's why Wes Goldstein of thinks there should be an award created especially for Saint Sid:
One of these days the NHL might have to consider creating a new award for Sidney Crosby. Something like Most Valuable Asset would probably do because right now it looks like the Player thing won't be enough to fully recognize the impact of the young superstar.


But in the post-lockout world Crosby's value to the Penguins franchise as a player might actually take a back seat to his importance to the NHL. Crosby played a critical role in saving the team from moving by exciting fans enough to push local politicians into a franchise-saving arena deal last year. He is also telegenic and humbly admirable, the closest thing the league has had to an icon in the U.S. since Gretzky and Mario Lemieux left the scene.

In the digital media age being embraced so fervently by the league these days, Crosby has clearly become the focal point for the NHL's short- and long-term marketing plans, and the primary face the NHL uses as it tries to attract a new generation of fans necessary for growth.

Pittsburgh's favorite multitasker

Another role Sid wants to add to his mile-long resume is that of penalty killer. To date, most of Sidney's PK appearances for the Penguins have been at the very end of the penalty in hopes that he could get the puck passed to the man emerging from the box for a chance at a breakaway. This season, however, could be different:
Coach Michel Therrien said yesterday between training camp practices at Mellon Arena that he is looking to add at least one more forward pairing to the two that carried much of the load last year, Maxime Talbot-Colby Armstrong, and Jordan Staal-Ryan Malone.

Several players will get a shot.

"We need to try to add more people," Therrien said. "There's [Jarkko] Ruutu, who has a little bit of experience with the way we play. And we're talking about a Crosby. We're talking about [an Evgeni] Malkin. We're talking about [an Erik] Christensen."


"I want to make sure I can do a good job and I'm responsible out there, but, yeah, I'm interested," Crosby said. "Your first responsibility is not to get scored on," he said. "At the same time, I would have to use my instincts and if I see a chance maybe I can be a threat offensively. Maybe I can back them off and create something. You've got to look at the risk and rewards."
Hmmm... Sounds to me like someone wants a shot at the "Most Short Handed Goals" title this season! Gronk's got some competition!!! :)


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