Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Crosby learning about life as a superstar

The Canadian Press had a great story on the wire today about Sidney Crosby coping with the day-to-day pressures at the Memorial Cup. Only in Canada could a 17-year-old hockey player no longer go to watch a movie in peace!

So far, however, Crosby's "good-guy" bubble has yet to burst; aside from all of the attention, he's done nothing to upset fans and/or the media (which isn't exactly an easy thing to do). Recall, if you will, how the media roasted Eric Lindros at a similar juncture in his career.

Aside from Don Cherry's reprimands, Crosby's been even the media's golden boy —— and, boy, does that make for boring copy (I'm kidding). Seriously though, if there was anyway to nitpick this young star, there would be reporters and columnists doing exactly that. As it is, Crosby hasn't done much more than smile, give relatively benign interviews and, of course, play hockey very, very well.

Crosby was the most prominent active hockey player in Canada this year and, in the absence of the NHL, requests for media interviews never stopped. The theft and subsequent return of his Canadian junior team jersey in January and his withdrawal from the Top Prospects Game were front-page news.

He's been available to the media here, conducting interviews in both French and English.

''He never says `I hate interviews,''' teammate Dany Roussin said. ''He never says one word bad about doing interviews.''

In my mind, this is as amazing as anything else. Considering the amount of media attention flung his way, Crosby was likely savvy with the media by 15, an expert at dolling out the same innocuous quotes over and over... and over.

Interviews are generally a tedious exercise for everyone concerned — reporters often malign how marble-mouthed their subjects are (and I'm sure players have few kinds words for those peppering them with niggling questions) — so for Crosby to never say anything bad about the media, well, that's almost too hard to believe.

Why don't we just induct him right now?


At 11:16 p.m., May 25, 2005, Blogger Michael said...

There's still time for him to go the way of either Alex Daigle or Jason Spezza.

It's all speculation and hype. We still haven't seen what Ovechkin or Malkin can do, maybe this lockout time will change the face of hockey dramatically and give the younger players more of an edge. And the Veterans get one year older.

The real story is to see just how many GM's would sell their soul to get a chance at signing Crosby, an unproven NHL talent.

At 2:27 p.m., May 27, 2005, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Heh, the way of a Jason Spezza you say? Spezza had one of the finest AHL seasons on record lately, notching 117 points in 80 games. Including his season with 55 points as a 20-year-old on a strong Senators team, and I think it's fair to say he'll be a big part of Ottawa's future success.

As for Crosby, no, it is not just speculation and hype. He's been under the microscope for three years and has to this point, to the best of my knowledge, managed to accomplish things even the very best never did. Twice named the Canadian Hockey League player of the year, both times before he turns 18?

How many GMs would sell their soul to get a chance at Crosby? My guess is that they all would. At the very least, he'll be akin to a Dany Heatley-type player — and how often do those come around?

At 10:27 p.m., May 31, 2005, Blogger Michael said...

Perhaps I should have made my point more clear. I wanted to pick two players that went in opposite directions. Daigle being the #1 pick bust or the other high draft pick in Spezza which seems to be working out for Ottawa/Binghampton. So my intended comparison is a north and south direction.

I do remember the hype that Spezza got in the OHL juniors. He got a lot of attention for the Windsor Spitfires. So for the amount of ink that Spezza got is somewhat comparable to Crosby's.

A Danny Heatly-type player? Interesting. For the teams sake that drafts Crosby then, I hope they don't have a Dan Snyder on that team.


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