I’m usually the first one to jump all over players who turn down the chance to play for their country, but even I am forced to cut Sidney Crosby some slack on this one.
His Penguins went all the way to the Stanley Cup finals each of the last two seasons. He played at the Olympics in February. Is it any wonder the guy needs time off to recover from a couple years of marathon hockey?
For all we talk about the millions of dollars these guys get paid, let’s take into account that they need time off just like anyone else. Your season wraps up in June, you’re back in training camp in September. It’s not like you’re sitting around the months of July and August like a school kid on summer vacation — these are professional athletes at the top of their game which involves a ton of training and effort to maintain that condition.
Anyone who calls this decision into question needs to really question why we would expect anyone to work two solid years without a real break. Crosby got the Gold Medal winning goal; he’s done his bit for the country already this year. Those Olympics were draining for the players — do you think it is a coincidence that Brodeur and Luongo were out of the playoffs already too?