Crosby past his prime?
Share with others:
Q: I have to wonder why there is the thought that Sidney Crosby is past his prime. Sure, he has not played up to his abilities this year, and last year he was hurt for a good chunk of the season. Even so, the guy is one of the best players in the league and at 21 it is ridiculous to think he is past his prime.
Bernardo, Nashville, Tenn.
MOLINARI: If Q&A submissions are any barometer, there are countless Crosby-bashers out there, but the contention that he's past his prime isn't one that comes this way very often.
Of course, there are plenty of people, many of whom identify themselves as Penguins partisans, who will tell you there are lots of things to dislike about Crosby, no matter how old he is or how many years it will be before he reaches his peak. Oh sure, a poll of NHL general managers by the Canadian network TSN a few months ago identified Crosby as the player around whom they would most like to build a team in the next five years, but what to do those guys know about hockey? Certainly not as much as ones who spend their time haunting talk shows and message boards.
Crosby clearly is having, by the standards he has set, a pretty ordinary season, even though he's one of the NHL's leading scorers, and he should not be exempt from criticism any more than any other player is. However, many of the harsh words directed at him are so far detached from reality -- like those questioning his commitment to the game and his team -- that they are beyond laughable, and say much more about the people expressing those thoughts than they do about Crosby.
Q: The New York Islanders will be playing a preseason game next year in Kansas City, the same city Mario Lemieux was pretending to sell the Pens to. I know the Isles are having a hard time filling seats and have been in the market for a new arena for years. What are the odds that a franchise so rich in history could end up in Kansas City? And if they are in the market for a move, I think it would be more beneficial for the league to send them to Winnipeg or Quebec
MOLINARI: There appears to be no imminent threat that the Islanders will relocate to Kansas City, but it's safe to assume that agreeing to play a preseason game there was a shot across the bow of Long Island officials -- specifically, those in the Town of Hempstead -- that such a move is not out of the question in coming years.
The Islanders' future in their current location appears to hinge on the fate of a $ billion plan proposed by team owner Charles Wang and developer Scott Rechler. His Lighthouse Project includes a complete overhaul of 100 acres on and around the site of Nassau Coliseum and, if approved, is scheduled to feature a luxury hotel, housing, stores, a conference center, restaurants and a minor-league baseball field, among other things.
The project has moved forward at a glacial pace, if at all, over the past few years and the Islanders are reported to be losing about $20 million per season. Hempstead officials have been quoted as saying that if Wang were interested only in a makeover of the Coliseum, the issue would have been dealt with long ago. However, that is just one small element in his overall plan, and he is intent on having the entire project come to fruition, presumably because it would allow him to recoup the money he has lost on the team.
The Islanders, by the way, also have agreed to a three-year deal to train in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, which some have interpreted as additional evidence the franchise might be looking to make a move west. For the past two years, New York has held training camp in Moncton, New Brunswick.
As for Kansas City, it still is seeking a major-league tenant for the Sprint Center, which been open for business since October, 2007. That city, and its building, gave Penguins officials some serious leverage in the negotiations that ultimately led to the deal that made the multi-purpose arena that will replace Mellon Arena possible.
First Published January 21, 2009 12:00 am