Rumble In The Igloo

Over the holiday weekend, the hockey world was jolted by a vicious rumor. Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux are having a “rift”.


The rumor all started on Matthew Barnaby’s radio show on Sirius XM. He and Steve Kouleas presented evidence to their listeners claiming this all started after the Penguins were eliminated in 2014. This playoff elimination not only caused former coach Dan Bylsma to be fired but also started the silent treatment between the team’s owner and the league’s top player.

That elimination was tough on the whole team. Besides losing Bylsma, the Penguins fired General Manager Ray Shero. The off-season wasn’t too kind either since they traded James Neal to the Nashville Predators. So, the frustration building up since the 2014 playoffs is understandable.

But to blame it all on Crosby would be overdramatic. We all know one player cannot carry a team all by himself. (Well, besides the Lakers). Hockey is a team sport. Everyone is accountable for their own actions. And Lemieux would know this. Yes, the Penguins have been struggling due to injuries and lack of communication. But they somehow always find a way to make it somewhere close to the top.

The Penguins, especially Crosby and Lemieux, have so much added pressure on them for not producing the dynasty they were meant to build. By now, they were meant to three or four Stanley Cups under their belt, not Chicago or possibly Los Angeles. This was meant to be Pittsburgh’s time.

Both were quick to deny the little talk show rumor, slightly even laughing it off. Moreover, after thinking logically, we have to laugh at the rumor too. Crosby has been like a son to Lemieux. Since the 2005 NHL Draft, Lemieux has been a mentor to Crosby, even letting him live in his house for the first five years of his career.

The tension Barnaby was probably sensing is mostly between Crosby and coach Mike Johnston. Crosby’s been struggling under Johnston’s reign and it’s very evident they cannot see eye-to-eye. Crosby seems to have a say in many matters in the clubhouse. So, if he’s not feeling right about the coach, he’ll probably send a hint to Lemieux.

Once again, the rumors are pretty laughable. Fans throughout the hockey world do not see this as plausible. And Barnaby’s threats of Crosby getting traded do not seem likely. If Crosby were to be traded, the league would explode. And due to the league’s budget, I don’t think they can afford that kind of damage.

If there is a problem between the two regarding the team’s performance, maybe Crosby should move back in. The team was definitely better when they were roommates.

Danielle E. Meegan 


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