Should Sid move out of Mario's house?
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Q: This may seem extremely far-fetched, but I think that Sidney Crosby would be a better leader on the ice and in the locker room if he moved out of Mario Lemieux's place. It was understood when he first came to Pittsburgh that he needed some guidance, stability and shelter from the public eye and, who better to provide that and understand that than Lemieux? Crosby is now 21 years old. He is an adult, and it is time that he start making adult decisions for himself (good or bad), and that should start with him moving out on his own. My feelings are that as soon as Crosby starts making those adult decisions, he will have more credibility in the locker room, and feel better about himself.
Kevin Novak, Atlanta
MOLINARI: You're right. It is extremely far-fetched. At best.
For starters, living at Lemieux's place is not quite the same as doing it in a typical single-family dwelling. Crosby has a section of the Lemeiux's very large residence to himself; he's not sleeping on a cot in the basement, and Lemieux's wife is not picking out the clothes Crosby should wear to work every morning.
You talk about the need to make adult decisions, but don't seem to take into account that Crosby has been making multi-million-dollar business decisions for years. Crosby isn't just a hockey player; he's a cottage industry. While he certainly is surrounded by capable people who can offer guidance on almost any issue he would face, Crosby still is the one who must make the final decision on most things. Frankly, he's dealt with matters more weighty than most 21-year-olds have.
The idea that continuing to live in Lemieux's residence has contributed to Crosby's disappointing play for much of this season was floated last weekend by television commentator Mike Milbury, which is reason enough to reject it out-of-hand.
Remember, Milbury is the guy who once characterized Bob Johnson -- one of the most intellectual and innovative coaches in recent NHL history -- as a "professor of goonism" and who, as general manager of the New York Islanders, traded Zdeno Chara, Bill Muckalt and the No. 2 overall draft choice in 2001 (it became Jason Spezza) for Alexei Yashin, and gave up Roberto Luongo and Olli Jokinen for Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish. Oh yeah, he's definitely a guy you'd want to go to for guidance on any hockey-related issue.
Q: So the Pens seem to be sitting around waiting for the "other shoe to drop?" No life, no desire and no scoring. What can be said or done at this point, for Crosby fighting, players-only meetings and a vote of confidence about the current roster aren't working. The Pens have holes. It strikes me as crazy to sit around any longer and do nothing.
Howard Hewlett, Des Moines, Iowa
MOLINARI: That's probably as good an explanation as any for the Penguins' often-lifeless performances in recent weeks and, if it's true, could become self-fulfilling, because ownership clearly isn't eager to have a team with a payroll near the salary-cap ceiling face the very real possibility of sitting out the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Still, one of general manager Ray Shero's most striking traits is his patience; his refusal to act in haste when things go wrong. That's the way he's approached his job since he was hired in 2006, and it's served him pretty well to this point. Consequently, there's no reason to believe that he's on the verge of making a major personnel move -- never mind that the salary cap can make that extremely difficult to pull off, even when a team is eager to do so -- and even less to think that he's considering a coaching change.
First Published January 9, 2009 12:00 am