As he approaches his 1000th game tomorrow night, Sidney Crosby addressed the media on Friday after Penguins practice. One subject he was asked about, and surprisingly enough even dignified with a real answer to a completely silly premise (good guy, that Sid) was about recent beginnings of whispers that he might seek a trade.
“Nothing’s changed,” Crosby said. “(Trade rumors) are definitely a new subject I’ve had to deal with and hear about a little bit. I love playing here. This is where I’d love to play for the rest of my career.”
Ridiculous as it sounds, it has been out there at the national media level, especially with the turnover in the Penguins’ front office after general manager Jim Rutherford abruptly and surprisingly resigned early in the season.
This opened the door for TSN’s Darren Dreger to dream and speculate about what the future could hold for Crosby and the Penguins.
If you aren’t in a position to listen, in part Dreger says (with emphasis added):
“For me, it’s all about this season: if the Pittsburgh Penguins were to miss the playoffs this year, I think it’s a real tough conversation for Ron Hextall, Brian Burke and Crosby and company in the off-season. And it wouldn’t shock me at all if Sid said, “Look, I want my legacy to be you collected the pieces based on moving me to the Colorado Avalanche or New York Rangers” — Colorado makes a lot of sense to me, by the way — “That is going to really jump-start the rebuild to make this team a contender in the next five years”.
While Dreger has personally dreamed up a scenario in his own mind where the noble Crosby asks out of town as if sacrificing himself for the betterment of the franchise, this just never made sense. Crosby is the ultimate creature of habit. He is in a place in Pittsburgh where his privacy is respected, where he has an almost father-son type of relationship off the ice that extends personally with owner Mario Lemieux.
Crosby notoriously is resistant to change as a player and person who likes his routines and his known rhythms. To suggest he would consider a change was always just misguided, foolish thinking out of line with the way Sidney Crosby thinks and operates.
It wasn’t even worth addressing here last week, because the whole scenario is so far-fetched. But since it came from Dreger, it of course spread like wildfire over social media and to other outlets like the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast to the point of being a real topic across the hockey world.
For Penguin fan “old heads”, this is not the first rodeo of out-of-towners dreaming up and creating player movement that otherwise never existed. There were more than the occasional media reports of shady sourcing in the 2001-04 time-frame that Lemieux was considering divesting his ownership with the Pens in order to join the Montreal Canadiens or New York Rangers. Not so coincidentally, the reports would tie Mario to Montreal when coming from north of the border and connect him with the Rangers when the emanating from NYC.
And maybe that’s just the age we live in. Crosby isn’t the only franchise center-piece to hear trade speculation, some with Jack Eichel chatter about what “could be happening” with no real knowledge or insight about anything actually happening.
For now with Crosby, if you needed reassurance, here it is. He has a contract until 2025 and has probably never seriously thought twice (or even once) about that not happening with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hopefully the rest of the hockey media will take that under advisement for their future potential scenarios moving forward.