Sidney Crosby’s Night

Saturday night was a celebration of Sidney Crosby as the Penguins captain became to the first player in team history to hit the 1,000 game milestone in a Penguins uniform.

Crosby is a special player, all-time Great, who is most importantly just a special human being. A beloved figure by so many who is a rare superstar on the ice on how he meets and exceeds expectations and off the ice in how he conducts himself.

Many of Crosby’s teammates were below the line with their level of play in Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Islanders, but this team again was able find away to get a ‘W’ with a subpar performance.

And at the end of the day, a Sidney Crosby led team will more likely than not find a way to snatch one of the four playoff spots in the East Division.

—One of the key takeaways from the night was before the puck even dropped. It was how much you can tell Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin mean to Sidney Crosby personally. That was obvious to anyone during the ceremony.

It has some already talking afterwards like how can Brian Burke and Ron Hextall watch that and think they can move on from Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin in the coming years?

Others also saw it as Sidney Crosby delivering a message to the new regime.

Many had gotten carried away with Sidney Crosby trade proposals in the last couple weeks (way too early for that stuff), while many are reading too much into the ceremony in thinking there’s no way now management can go in another direction in the next year or two because of Crosby’s lifelong friendships with Malkin and Letang.

Maybe, but I doubt it.

Crosby wants to compete for championships at the end of the day……

— If you could buy stock in four more years of Kris Letang or Evgeni Malkin to line up with Sidney Crosby’s contract, who you got?

Evgeni Malkin 3 year extension with an AAV of $7.5 million


Kris Letang 3 year extension with an AAV of $6 million?

I posed this question over the weekend to three NHL sources, a longtime former assistant NHL coach, NHL scout and and a front office exec.

And it was [hide] unanimous — Letang 3-0. —

I’m far from a Kris Letang guy, I’ve felt he’s been In the way of the Penguins trying to establish a defensive identity for a few years now, but there’s still at least flashes from him on a game by game basis and it’s not out of the question that Letang’s game can transform better with age than Malkin’s will.

16 games is now a big enough sample where the Penguins have an Evgeni Malkin problem.

As crazy as it sounds, Teddy Blueger is Pittsburgh’s second best center right now.

Malkin’s puck management and play away from the puck just isn’t going to age well as evidence this season when he’s no longer playing like an elite level points producer. [/hide]