Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Some Hockey Thoughts

[Hockey]

Trying out a new idea here: keywords to highlight the content of a post. We'll see how it works.

So ... the Canadiens have the fifth pick in the NHL draft this Saturday. Bob Gainey's said he's going to talk with the Penguins about getting the first overall pick, hence Sidney Crosby. It ain't gonna happen. The Penguins need Crosby for short-term survival. Just as they needed Mario Lemieux twenty years ago. The Canadiens don't have anything they can offer which would make up for the PR hit the Penguins would take if they let Crosby go. Maybe if somebody came to the Penguins with a ridiculously lopsided deal similar to what Philadelphia gave Qu├ębec for Eric Lindros. Maybe if somebody came to them with a deal which would guarantee them a Stanley Cup this year and next. But such deals do not exist, and should not.

The bigger question: should the Penguins continue to exist in the league, or at least in Pittsburgh, if the only thing that keeps them going are once-in-a-generation talents like Lemieux or Crosby? Isn't this effectively an admission that hockey, regular NHL-calibre hockey, is not sustainable in Pittsburgh? A lot of people are happy that because of Sindey Crosby Pittsburgh's probably going to be able to keep their team for the next little while. I'm not, necessarily. Instead, I'm a little sad that because of Sidney Crosby, a real hockey market (say, Winnipeg) is going to be deprived of a franchise they deserve more than the fairweather fans of Pittsburgh.

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