Penguins trade chatter doesn’t take Sidney Crosby by surprise
As a disappointing end to the season gave way to a summer filled with trade talk surrounding even cornerstone players such as Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby wasn’t surprised.
Three of his 14 NHL seasons ended with a parade, which means 11 didn’t. He knew how this was going to go.
“When you lose, there’s always more questions,” Crosby said. “There’s more of that talk and chatter. I think experience has probably helped me with that. Having gone through different situations, you realize that’s part of it. Sometimes there’s a lot said, and nothing happens. Sometimes there’s not a lot said, and there’s a ton of moves. You can’t try to predict what’s going to happen or anticipate anything.”
Crosby always has been careful to make sure his public comments reflect his job title. Even as the face of the league for more than a decade, he’s ultimately a player, not a general manager.
With that in mind, he endorsed keeping the Penguins’ core together despite the team’s dismal finish to the season.
“It would be unbelievable,” Crosby said. “That’s so hard to do nowadays, with so much movement with players and change and turnover with teams and the league getting younger and younger. It’s not easy to have that happen. The fact that we’ve won a few Stanley Cups together, (we) still want to be able to win more. That’s something I would like to happen.”
Crosby spoke with reporters in advance of the NHL postseason awards ceremony in Las Vegas on Wednesday night.
Crosby is a finalist for the Hart Trophy, given to the league’s MVP, but not the favorite. That distinction belongs to Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov, the league’s leading scorer. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid is the other finalist.
“It’s an honor,” Crosby said. “I’m not going to get my hopes up. There’s two pretty good seasons in the group. I think it’s great to be nominated.”
Crosby said he spent five weeks in Europe after the season ended, traveling through Spain, England, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. He plans to return to Canada after the awards ceremony.
“This is probably the longest offseason that I’ve ever had,” Crosby said. “I think about all the years we had early exits. I probably played in World Championships or played hockey at some point kind of later on. I’ve got to make the most of the rest and make sure I’m ready to go at the start of next season.”
Crosby said he still has confidence the Penguins can compete for a championship in the future, no matter what happens to the roster the rest of the summer.
“I think we believe in our group,” Crosby said. “Obviously there’s always going to be turnover. There was turnover when we won. There was turnover when we had years that didn’t go as well. That’s just the nature of playing, and you understand that. There’s always a little bit more focus, and it’s magnified a little bit more when you lose.”
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review assistant sports editor. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .