The treatment given to superstars is appalling in the modern NHL. What was once only a matter of hooking and obstruction has now become a dangerous game of hurting these players enough without being suspended too long. Players such as Patrick Kane, Conor McDavid and Carey Price get dangerously attacked by other players in the hope of injuring them for a long time.
None other player than Sidney Crosby gets attacked as often as he does. The commotion prone superstar has received a lot of critics following the dramatic slash given on Marc Methot this year, but in all fairness Crosby receives his part of dirty hits. It's not always the huge slash or the impossibly violent check on the board but more subtle, dangerous moves.
Anyhow, the Penguins have decided that enough was enough following multiple complaints ignored by the NHL. When asked about it today, team GM Jim Rutherford had this to say.
“I hear year after year how the league and everyone loves how the Penguins play. They play pure hockey and they skate.’ Well, now it’s going to have to change and I feel bad about it, but it’s the only way we can do it. We’re going to have to get one or two guys…and some of these games that should be just good hockey games will turn into a sh—show. We’ll go right back to where we were in the ’70s and it’s really a shame.”
Wow, that can't be clearer than that! Crosby added his bit to the story.
“Yeah, it’s a challenge. That’s the challenge of playing in the playoffs. I guess you understand that after going through different experiences…that’s the way it is. It’s not always easy to accept that, but at the end of the day, you have to and you can’t get caught up in it and ultimately it’s about winning games. Getting caught up in that and getting frustrated isn’t going to lead to winning games. That’s kind of my motivation as far as staying focused. You just can’t allow yourself to get too caught up in that regardless of how bad it gets. You just have to keep going.”
That's a winning attitude from the Cup winner. Needless to say, Crosby will push as hard as ever to win yet another Stanley Cup, but it will be interesting to follow this story in the future.