SUN Hockey Pool

Crosby brighter star than ever

ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:01 AM ET

The 80’s-like scoring tear Sidney Crosby has been on the last month has corporate sponsors falling all over the NHL superstar like never before.

“The level of interest has increased even since last year when he scored the golden goal,” said Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson Saturday.

“Let’s put it this way — he’s always had interest from major corporations and brands. That Olympic goal took him to another level, and now it’s almost gone to another level the last month.”

However, true to form, Brisson says Crosby turns down “nine of every 10” possibilities to remain focused on maintaining his sanity and his undisputed perch atop the hockey world.

“He only has so many free days, and they’re more important than money,” Brisson said.

“I give him a lot of credit for his understanding that his priority is to be a winner on the ice and everything else is secondary.”

Now for more notes, quotes and anecdotes from a sports world wondering how the hockey world is destined to change after Donald Fehr is voted in by the NHLPA Tuesday.

Around the horn

No one was more intrigued by Joe Sakic’s surprise appearance with Colorado Avalanche brass at last week’s board of governors meetings than Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson. Nicholson figures Sakic may be a good fit for a future roll with Team Canada and would like to give him that chance. “He’s certainly a guy we’ll call in the new year,” said Nicholson, who has given several Team Canada alumni their first taste of management like Mark Messier, Wayne Gretzky and Steve Yzerman. “I was certainly excited to hear him say he was interested in learning about the management side of things.” Also on Nicholson’s radar are recent retirees Scott Niedermayer and Rob Blake … For every Crosby out there who “gets it,” there are dozens of NHLers like Alex Kovalev who don’t have a clue. Uncertain of why he’s been demoted to the Ottawa Senators’ fourth line, he suggested he was being made a scapegoat. He went on to say this sort of treatment is the same he’s been afforded every-where he’s gone. Clearly someone needs to sit him down and explain it has everything to do with his complete absence of a work ethic, heart and grit. Other than that, he’s a good player … Ran into Marcel Dionne at the Hockey Hall of Fame Saturday, and he sides with the fans in the debate over whether Linus Omark’s spin-o-rama shootout goal was great entertainment or disrespectful, as the stodgy hockey community believes. “It’s a new generation, and it’s entertainment, for God’s sake,” said the legendary Kings sniper. “ Guys complain because they can’t do it — they’re scared if they tried something like that, they’d fail and look silly.”

Parting gifts

The ice that has kept Billy Powers’ beer so cold all these years has betrayed him, causing him to slip and break his hip last week, requiring surgery. A tip of the cap to our good pal, whose alcohol-free stay at the Rockyview General Hospital is expected to end as early as today … After years on The Score, TV broadcaster Steve Kouleas is moving over to TSN, where he’ll host his own show, Hockey2Nite, on TSN2 … Separated at birth, with thanks to Bill Cosburn are Lee Harvey Oswald and Hockey Night in Canada’s iDesk staple Jeff Marek ... The early verdict on HNIC’s groundbreaking 3D broadcast of the Toronto Maple Leafs/Montreal Canadiens tilt Saturday night was the few who were able to watch it as intended found it shockingly brilliant. However, it will certainly take time for even the staunchest of supporters to get used to the motion sickness that comes with watching that much action in 3D. One of the logistical problems with 3D broadcasts is the cameras are so big several patrons at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre had to be relocated to make room for the equipment, which makes for a pricey proposition. That said, the future of TV viewing for sports fans is more exciting than ever.

eric.francis@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/ericfrancis

Eric Francis appears regularly as a panelist on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada


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