Tuesday, June 16, 2009

No shake for you, the backlash that brews

As Pittsburgh's residents relish the latest addition to the trophy case, there's a Miss Manners lesson being played out in the hockey world over the fall out of the post game celebrations of last Friday night.

During those moments following the Penguins victory over the Red Wings and claiming of the Stanley Cup in game seven, the post game handshakes became a bit of a debating point as Pens Captain Sidney Crosby missed his cue and missed out on a number of the Red Wings including captain Nicklas Lidstrom.

The missed salutation has been the main item out of that final ever since, with the scoring summaries and highlight reels now fading from memory, the lasting memory seems to be a missed opportunity for sportsmanship and the subsequent missed opportunities to make amends.

Much has been made of the original incident, with everyone from fellow Red Wings to sports journalists weighing in to offer up their impressions of the hockey faux pas.

Crosby himself hasn't done much to quell the backlash, taking the opinion that he did nothing wrong and was simply enjoying the moment with his team mates, something he believes he had the right to do.

And while that's a valid point, still it wouldn't have been too much to seek out Lidstrom to make amends, or at least offer up an apology for the missed opportunity. Instead, Crosby has come across as a petulant little kid, which considering his age may not be too far from where his station in life is at during this period of his development. He missed a golden opportunity at that time to express his remorse at the timing troubles and at that time could have said something about his regrets on the situation.

He is the face of leadership on the Penguins and in the NHL these days, so he should have been more aware of his responsibilities to the game. It's a rare miscue for the star player of the NHL, who normally seems to be more than aware of what is required of him as one of the top players of the game.

The apology ship may have already sailed, but perhaps in order to find a bit of peace over the summer, he could at least make the effort to address the growing controversy and offer up his mea culpas, after all he was on the "winning" side of events, might be an idea to embrace the positives from that victory while he can.

So far, he's been losing the PR war on this issue, something that is about as common as scoring slumps for the Penguins captain. Like many a last minute comeback, he still may be able to pull this one out of the fire.

Associated Press-- Zetterberg calls Crosby's actions disrespectful
Detroit Free Press-- Wings' Lidstrom shakes off Crosby controversy, but Zetterberg doesn't
Pittsbrugh Post Gazette-- Crosby: Snub Lidstrom? No way 'My intentions were to shake hands'
Fadoo.ca-- Hey Sid... Shake This!
CBC Sports-- Red Wings can't let Crosby thing go
CBC Sports-- Crosby dismisses handshake controversy
Globe and Mail-- Cut Crosby a break on the handshake nonsense
National Post-- Crosby dismisses Red Wings handshake flap
National Post-- Loss, Crosby's alleged snub leave Wings bitter

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