Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Sidney Crosby Bails out of CHL Top Prospects Game

Uber-prospect Sidney "Nextzky" Crosby pulled out of the CHL Top Prospects game to be held tomorrow night, SLAM! reports. The ‘Next One’ claims to be injured and fatigued from the WJC.

He's been carrying a pretty bad injury since the world juniors," his agent Pat Brisson said Monday from Los Angeles. "He said 'I can't play in this game and do all the skills and all that."
Brisson wouldn't specify the nature of the injury, but when asked if it was a lower back injury, he said: "Put it this way, you're not too far.

Imagine buying tickets for a Mike Tyson-Lennox Lewis match, only to have Mike Tyson bow out due to food poisoning. I may be overstating things, but many people bought tickets to this event simply to see Sidney Crosby. Crosby was the main focus of the advertising campaign and subsequent hype for this event.

As you can imagine, Giants co-owner Ron Toigo is pretty miffed about this. He even goes so far as to invoke the name and power of Gretzky himself.

"For the guy who wants to be the next Wayne Gretzky ... the history of Wayne Gretzky is that he would be here with one leg if that's what it took because it's good for the game," Toigo, the game's promoter, said in an interview.

Toigo said he offered Crosby - who he described as an outstanding individual - and his family first-class tickets to Vancouver, special accommodation not available to other players and expenses-paid relaxation time in nearby Victoria.
Is Crosby becoming the next Eric Lindros? Will he demand to be drafted by only selected teams? Is he simply getting bad advice from his greedy agent?
I find it sad that Ron Toigo even needed to offer such extras and incentives that the other prospects aren’t getting.

Places like HFBoards.com are aflush with conspiracy theories, speculation, and other ‘rumours’. If you are into that kind of Kool-Aid, here are a few beauties for you:

...and I’m sure you can think of your own little scenarios. To me, I think he could have played in the game if he really wanted to, but he’d rather just take a break and doesn’t feel that this game will benefit him in any way. Crosby is already going to be the #1 pick, so why risk further injury/humiliation?

Crosby has already proven himself to be a world-class player against older players at the World Junior Championships, so he really doesn’t have anything to prove. It’s really the fans and scouts who will lose in this situation.

The fact is, I would have bought tickets to see the game if I knew Crosby wouldn’t be there. I know many others might not have, and they feel ripped off. Too bad for them that any time you buy tickets to a hockey game, you are not guaranteed to see your favourite player in the game. I’ll still be watching Brule, Marek Zagrapan, and the bevy of other fine prospects in the game. Perhaps Brule can steal the show and put himself back as the real #2 in the minds of some publications (ISS, McKeens, etc)

There's no question Crosby was at least a little bit hurt — he did miss a regular season game with Rimouski. Toigo is, as always, worried about his bottom line, and of course, not having Crosby hurts the profile of the event. But really, if Crosby is hurting, why should he have to take part in an event that is designed to increase the profile of prospects?
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