After a mid season resurgence the Pittsburgh Penguins managed to capture first place in the East and seemed poised to make another run at the Stanley Cup. Those calling for the dismantling of the Penguins core had suddenly grown very quiet after it appeared that the window on their championship aspirations had not closed just yet, but after a loss in Game 1 to the New York Islanders it would appear as though they have come back with a vengeance.
A recently published article in the Globe and Mail, written by Cathal Kelly, has once again called on the Penguins to be dismantled and has done so in rather inflammatory fashion. More specifically Kelly has called on the Penguins to trade Crosby out of Pittsburgh and to another team, preferably one in Canada. Kelly believes the move would be in the interest of all parties involved, including Crosby himself, the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, and even the National Hockey League.
As I said Kelly used some rather inflammatory language in this piece so I will let him speak, in his own words:
So, in the best interests of hockey, the Pittsburgh Penguins must die.
Strangely enough though the only destination proposed by Kelly in his article is one that I would argue is not much more of a contender than the current iteration of the Penguins. While the storyline might be interesting to be sure, as would the storyline that would emerge from any trade involving Sidney Crosby, Kelly's suggestion of Montreal as a potential destination doesn't seem all that sexy to me.
Again in his own words:
Montreal has always been the dream destination, narratively speaking. Imagine Crosby reinvigorating the league’s most storied franchise?
One of the reasons Kelly would like to see Crosby on a Canadian franchise would be to see him build a rivalry against Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid, an incredible player on the ice but one whose personality is not exactly the most dynamic. Kelly believes the move could help fuel the popularity of McDavid, this generations superstar, effectively passing the torch and making him the face of the NHL.
Once more in his own words:
The NHL could run wild with an ancien régime vs. arrivistes storyline pitting Crosby and the Canadiens vs. McDavid and the Oilers.
Although the Penguins would no doubt see a return that would help them guide their franchise into the future, one that could impact the team long after Crosby has retired from the sport, I suspect that very few fans in Pittsburgh will co-sign this idea. Especially when you consider the inflammatory nature in which it has been presented here.
Both the Penguins, and I suspect the majority of their fan base, are no doubt hoping to see Crosby retire as a Penguin.