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Dear Sidney Crosby:

Cut. It. Out! In case you misread that, I did not write “cut it off,” as in, Marc Methot’s finger. Nor are you Ryan O’Reilly’s mohel. Us hockey fans are not referees so don’t you dare lie and convince us what we saw in the replays didn’t happen. For those hockey fans that didn’t see what you’ve been up to this week so far, allow me to recap.

On Tuesday evening, your team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, visited the Buffalo Sabres. With no score yet, you drifted behind your opposing centerman, Ryan O’Reilly, placed your stick between his legs, and subsequently blatantly (and violently, might I add) swung your stick upwards in what seemed like an attempt to slice O’Reilly’s body in half from underneath him. That’s right, you speared the guy where the sun doesn’t shine for no apparent reason. I don’t even care if you had a reason; you just don’t do that! No penalty was called. And you went on to score perhaps the goal of the season in a 3-1 win. Good for you.

On Thursday evening in Ottawa against the Senators, you backchecked for your squad as part of your duties playing center. But then you perpetrated a heinous act. As Sens’ defenseman Marc Methot carried the puck through the neutral zone and approached the blue line into your team’s zone, you approached him and did your best butcher impersonation. With two hands on your stick, you came down with a chop on Methot’s stick, which should have warranted a slashing penalty. No such penalty was called. To add injury to insult, instead of making contact with the stick, you caught Methot square on the finger. Methot’s contemplates pulverizing you as you skated away pretending nothing happened. It appeared Methot was simply taking the high road. But then he removed his glove to reveal a gruesome sight. For those who are squeamish, please proceed to the next paragraph. Not you, Sid – you keep reading. It appeared as though Methot’s finger was dangling off itself, being held on by a mere thread. He was dripping blood as he held his hand up and skated towards the Senators’ bench and into the locker room.

Methot would not return to action. As per the Senators’ communications Twitter account, Methot left the game with a laceration on his hand. The Sens would end up topping the Pens 2-1 in a shootout.

Look, Sid: you’re the best player in the world right now. Though some might debate over that statement, no one can deny the stats you post, your on-ice vision, superb skating, stick-handling and play-making abilities, and your overall knowledge and creativity when playing the game of hockey. But for years, the fans have complained about your alleged dirty tactics. Some of the charges could be unwarranted. They could be classified as pesky attempts to get under players’ skin. I’ll give you that. But a lot of the time, your actions exceed a fair level of decency, and a generous one at that, given the stature you hold around the National Hockey League and within the global hockey community. This week, you went too far.

Shame on the NHL and the league’s referees. No penalties were called. No subsequent discipline was sought for your action against O’Reilly, and any discipline against you for your actions on Methot will likely be forgone by the league. How absolutely despicable!

Sidney, you make it very difficult for hockey fans to appreciate just how good you are because you distract us from your skills, and you instead insist on turning our attention to your instigations and wrongdoings. This isn’t an “Old Time Hockey” issue; even the old-timers would never tolerate this sort of behavior. You’ve gone too far. It’s time to focus on your play, not your transgressions that go largely unnoticed by the referees on the ice (because I can only give them the benefit of the doubt as far as your clandestine actions go).

You are the captain for a professional hockey club, an honor for anyone who is privileged enough to wear the “C.” Famous Pittsburgh eatery, Promanti Bro.’s, even created a sandwich in your honor, and it is absolutely delicious. But your actions disgrace not only the role that has been bestowed upon you since the beginning of your NHL career, but your behavior has placed a large, unattractive blemish upon a world-class organization in the Pittsburgh Penguins, proud four-time Stanley Cup Champions.

Ask your good friend and mentor, Mario Lemieux about unacceptable uses of the stick and the Hockey Gods’ displeasure of such. Nevermind, I’ll just explain myself. In 1992, the New York Rangers met Mario and the Pens in the postseason. While the Pens were defending Stanley Cup Champions that year, the Rangers were favorites to win in 1992. That is, until Rangers forward Adam Graves slashed Mario on the wrist in Game Two of the Patrick Division Finals. The Pens’ beloved captain missed the remainder of the series.

It looked like the Rangers were going to win it and advance to the next round, but as the league failed to implement any discipline against Graves, the Hockey Gods took matters into their own hands. In Game Four with the Rangers up 2-1 in the series, Pens’ forward Ron Francis spontaneously fired a long-range clap bomb from the neutral zone, beating Rangers’ goaltender Mike Richter. Francis’ goal cut the Rangers’ lead in half and made it 3-2. It was arguably the most important goal of the series, viewed as the series turning point. The Penguins defeated the Rangers in the series 4-2, and went on to win their second Stanley Cup in franchise history. The bottom line is, don’t upset the Hockey Gods, because if you think they don’t see beyond what the referees do, you got another thing comin’.

I believe I speak for hockey fans all over the world. Enough is enough, Sid. Clean up your act. We want to see the best quality hockey, not severed fingers and impotence. For your sake, hopefully there is time to make amends with the Hockey Gods as the season winds down and postseason action awaits right around the corner.


Yours Truly,

Sportsmanship and Decency


cc: Gary Bettman, Commissioner

Stephen Walkom, VP and Director of Officiating

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Evan is the Hockey Editor for He provides coverage of the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, and Philadelphia Flyers, as well as some league-wide content.

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