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Red Wings really need to give Sidney Crosby a break

June 16, 2009 |  8:33 am

Crosby I realize the Detroit Red Wings aren't used to losing in the Stanley Cup finals, but they really need to stop attacking Sidney Crosby.

In case you haven't heard, some Detroit players are upset that Crosby didn't shake hands with all of the Red Wings following the Penguins' Stanley Cup triumph in Game 7 on Friday.

Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom was among the players Crosby didn't shake hands with and, although the future NHL Hall of Famer didn't seem to mind too much, teammates Henrik Zetterberg and Kris Draper are pretty upset over Crosby's perceived lack of sportsmanship.

"That's ridiculous," Draper said.

It's strange the Red Wings are getting so worked up over this, especially when one of their own players has a reputation for going on handshake hiatuses. Defenseman Chris Chelios (who looks ready for retirement now) intentionally didn't shake hands following the Red Wings' playoff loss to the Ducks in 2007. I don't recall Zetterberg and Draper venting to the media about that unsportsmanlike display.

Crosby is merely guilty of getting too caught up in the moment. The thrill of winning his first Stanley Cup finally dissolved the immense expectations that were placed on his shoulders by the post-lockout NHL's rebuilding/marketing strategy (whether you agree with it or not, the league crowned Crosby its prince on draft day 2005).

He has been the face of the NHL for the last four years, and it would be nice if some older players, who have undoubtedly benefited from the exposure he has helped bring to the game, would be a little more understanding about his handshake faux pas.

-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo: Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby holds up the Stanley Cup at PNC Park prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers on Sunday. Credit: Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press