HotTake Tuesday: Feel Shame, Sidney Crosby!

Afternoon HotTakes to get you thru the rest of your day! Today, Andy Hughes joins Nick and James to discuss the Sidney Crosby skipping the All Star Game, Zac Rinaldo’s suspension, Marc-Andre Fleury’s confidence, the Chicago Blackhawks loving the outdoor game, and so much more! Eat up, yinz!

Should Sidney Crosby Have Participated In All Star Weekend?

Richter: He’s the face of the NHL. Obviously he should be there under any circumstance, right? Injury, famine, his own death… It doesn’t matter. Seriously, how selfish can a guy be? People drop thousands of dollars on tickets, travel, and hotels just to watch the best of the best play at a low level in a meaningless game. Clearly Crosby doesn’t understand that. 

Conley: I read a few pieces where people admonished him for not showing up. I assume they’ll do the same when he doesn’t come to their birthday parties. 

Hughes: Not at all. The guy missed practice Monday and people are accusing him of skipping the All-Star Game. Would the event been more fun to watch with him in it? Maybe. The All-Star Game doesn’t excite me all that much. Crosby is the face of the NHL and owes the league nothing. He has been a spectacular face for the league and has done a ton to help them out. Crosby is more focused on winning championships than winning the All-Star Game MVP (as he should be). The NHL will be better off with Crosby healthy during the postseason than having him available for one game that doesn’t mean anything. If you compare the TV ratings between the ASG and the Stanley Cup Final, it’s not even close. Multiply the ASG ratings by five and you have the ratings for the sport’s signature event in the postseason. Also, there were some pretty big names there, like Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos and a rising star in Tyler Seguin.


Rinaldo Gets 8-Game Suspension

Richter: 8 games this time, 25 the next, half a season… whatever the case may be, none of it matters to a guy like Zac Rinaldo. He clearly doesn’t get it. If he gets the chance to play in the NHL again, he isn’t going to change the way he plays or approaches the game.  Best thing that could happen for the NHL is for the Flyers to cut ties with him, but that might be asking a bit too much.

Conley: I wish they wouldn’t have suspended him at all. If you’re going to enable basket cases like Rinaldo, own it, at least.

Hughes: Boy, wouldn’t the NHL be such a better league without guys like Zac Rinaldo? I would have gone with 10 games, but at least it’s over 5 I guess. The problem here is that Rinaldo will never learn unless he gets suspended for a much longer time. The hit was dirty, but his comments afterwards made me even more angry. How could someone joke around about an incident like that? Rinaldo deserves every suspension he gets. The NHL needs to send a message to the guy. It worked with Matt Cooke.



Will the All Star Game affect MAF’s Confidence?

Richter: He will never be the same again. Just wait until he has to stop pucks in a real game!
Seriously though, if you believe that the All Star Game even means anything outside of an attaboy to these players, you’re fooling yourself. And if you believe these players are playing their hearts out in this game, you’re delusional. These goaltenders are just out there goofing around, having fun and trying to not get hurt. It’s nice to be recognized for doing a great job, but get real, these guys would rather spend a couple days at the beach with their families in January. 

Conley: Didn’t see it I was listening to the new Sleater-Kinney album all weekend, which, hey, next year’s All Star game should just be three of their shows televised over a weekend, I say. 

Hughes: Trade Fleury!!!!!!! Seven goals?! Really?! In all seriousness, I wouldn’t worry about Marc-Andre Fleury at all after that game. Those players were just having fun. There was no defense, no hitting and basically no slap shots. Anyone that takes that game seriously needs to think about it a bit more. It’s not going to affect his confidence at all. Let’s remember that this is a guy who rebounded from getting pulled in the playoffs a couple years ago and was completely humiliated. Fleury is the least of my worries right now.


Chicago Blackhawks will play outdoors again 

Richter: Another day, another dollar, another Chicago Blackhawks outdoor game. It’s about as predictable as death or taxes. They’ve got a ton of stars, they’re going to be at least considered for just about any outdoor game because of that fact. Honestly, what owner would turn down that cash cow if the League asked them to be a part of it? 

Conley: Neat. They are Good. 

Hughes: I agree with Nick. Can you blame the Blackhawks for not accepting the NHL’s invitation? “Hey guys, you want millions of dollars?” I would say yes every time. However, it is annoying that the NHL isn’t bringing in different teams to help other smaller markets. At this point, the Blackhawks may name Soldier Field their home rink.


Ovechkin Having Fun At the ASG

Richter: How great was it to watch Ovechkin clown around? He essentially went all NWO Scott Hall on the NHL. He doesn’t care what people think about him. Ovie’s just gonna do Ovie and have fun with it… It’s pretty refreshing to see a superstar hockey player not be vanilla with canned answers. The NHL needs more spirited personalities like Ovechkin. It sells. It’s great for the game. Regardless of fan allegiances, Ovechkin is great for the game and was able do something pretty special for someone else in the process. Kudos. 

Conley: Can’t wait for some retired Canadian hack to point to this as evidence of his aloof, inferior Russian style whenever he goes minus-2 in some playoff game. 

Hughes: I personally loved what Ovechkin did. He was pretty funny. The one great thing about the All-Star Game is it shows the personalities of these guys. There are many players people “hate” on the ice, but then they seem great off the ice. Most Pittsburgh fans hate Ovechkin, but you had to enjoy that at least a little bit.

Chris Sutter coaching all stars

Richter: This was by far my favorite part of the All Star Game. What a heart-warming moment. It encapsulated just how fun the sport is, as-well-as how warm and inviting the players are as well. Say what you will about the All Star Game, but this moment served as a great reasoning for the game. Bringing the games biggest stars together and creating special moments. The NHL did a great job by allowing this. 

Conley: Didn’t catch any of the weekend stuff after Friday night so I missed this but that is awesome. 

Hughes: It was my favorite part of the night too. I have an uncle who has Down Syndrome and he would have loved something like that. If you couldn’t smile after seeing that, then you are heartless. It was an incredible moment and I hope we continue to see stuff like that happen. Those people deserve to have their dreams come true.

Caption This:
(Thanks for the setup, NHL Snapchat!)

Richter: “Sorry, Jonathan, I’m just trying to get a better view. Don’t mind me…” *click*

Conley: “Nice jersey.” 

Hughes: “Yo Captain Serious, you have a cop costume? If so, go put it on.” *Toews runs for his life*

The World Cup of Hockey Is Back

Richter: Boy oh boy is the NHL and NHLPA ever cashing in on all these events. These events are cash cows. Another year; another shortened offseason. We always hear about the wear and tear of the 82-game season and that the Stanley Cup Playoffs are like another grueling two-month season of hockey. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of weird injuries to some big-named players. I love the idea of the World Cup of Hockey, but add that in with the Olympics and IIHF World Championships and there sure isn’t much downtime for these star players. 

Conley: So many thoughts, not enough space here. I just wish they would have gone all-out to make it a real international tournament. Make it a relegation tournament, too, where you have like top-eight qualifiers based on some hokey IIHF ranking and then two or four others who compete in a qualifying tournament to get in each time. Then I’d be all about getting out of the Olympics, like I think they might try to do at some point. 

Hughes: I love the idea of the World Cup of Hockey tournament. It’s something that the NHL has wanted to do for a while and who can blame them? The more hockey, the better. The offseason won’t seem as long and as a hockey fan, I won’t complain about that. However, health will be a concern here since some players will be playing a ton of hockey in one year. No idea is perfect, but I think this is worth a try.

Thanks for reading HotTake Tuesday! Special thanks goes out to Andy  for jumping on with us today… Give him a follow on the twitter machine. You can also follow James and Nick on twitter as well. Feel free to email, use the hashtag #HotTakeTuesday on twitter, tweet us directly, or facebook us any questions or topics you might have. We look forward to providing you with flaming hot takes every Tuesday. 

Stay Classy.