We try to take as objective and non-partisan views on issues in hockey as we can. But this one will be a little tougher.
Sidney Crosby, rumor has it, will boycott the All-Star game in Carolina this year to protest the non-suspensions of Victor Hedman and David Steckel. What could these two guys have possibly done to warrant the top vote get-er to think about skipping the festivities? You might think that they killed his dog. But instead all they did was happen to engage in legal hockey (as in the league didn't find anything wrong with it) contact with the Penguins captain...which later lead to a concussion.
Let us address these in the order of whence they happened. In the Winter Classic David Steckel "collided" with Crosby as he was on a path to the puck. Steckel was looking at the puck and only saw Sid at the last moment and this allowed for him to get mostly out of the way. Crosby was looking off somewhere and put HIMSELF in a vulnerable position. Here is a video.
If you watch the first twenty seconds, you see Crosby turning his head and leaving his body open. Facing one way and looking another is a great way to get concussed. From 20 seconds, you see a great up ice angle. You can clearly see that Steckel is going up ice towards the puck and the play. Crosby doing his turn and what-not skates right into his path and gets nailed. Yes it was a hard hit. Yes it made contact to the head. But Crosby just ran into Steckel. What was Steckel supposed to do just not skate anywhere near Crosby? Take a longer route to the play because Crosby may want to go that way? No. It was an accident. One that left Crosby hurt, but not something someone can be punished for.
Now let us move on, to the Tampa Bay vs Pittsburgh game.
Crosby, for whatever reason, had himself pressed up against the boards--face on glass-- behind the net. Hedman finishes his check when Crosby is in the position. Hedman's hands do not make contact with the head, and really nothing else does either. Here it is.
This one has a little more validity. Crosby was clearly facing the wrong way. But he put himself there as Hedman was coming in to make contact. That's how you get hurt. Kids, don't do this. Take the hit from the side or head on and you probably won't end up injured. Anyway, this hit is nothing more than a 2 minute penalty, and only that because Crosby puts himself in a bad position.
Nonetheless, Crosby will not be at the All-Star game, or at least he claims he won't, even if he is healthy. He is hoping his celebrity will start an initiative to make head contact hits, like those "malicious" ones against him, a strongly suspend able offense.
Here is my problem with all of this. No, it has nothing to do with him not being at All-Star Weekend (please do not show up, Sidney). Those hits were nothing more than that. Hits. They happen all the time in hockey, especially Steckel's. If you start suspending everyone for those hits it won't be long before half the league is sitting on the sidelines for perfectly legal hits. Or worse, we will have a non-check league. You may think that is hogwash and being extreme. I assure you however, if people start throwing hissy fits every time they are hurt and the league humors them--this will all get out of hand quickly.
The fact of the matter is this: Crosby is upset that he got hurt and, even more so, that the league didn't run to his aid and suspend the meanies that did this to him. Okay, all objectivity is lost. I can't try to stay out of this one. This situation is laughable to me. It shows why the league was wrong to baby and coddle Crosby his whole career. He expects the world and more. You can't give him special treatment and expect him to not be a whining, complaining, thinks-his-shit doesn't stink type of player. I hope for the league's sake they fine Crosby if he skips the All-Star game. I mean a lot of fans voted to see him there and if he just decides to not show, the league has every right to fine or SUSPEND him. That would be great. It would be like that Mother in the grocery store who finally slaps the kid that has been screaming for the past, oh let's say five years, taking back all control from the little brat.
Where was he condemning head hits when his teammate, Matt Cooke, leveled Marc Savard ? He wasn't so outspoken then.