Crosby injury making NHL look bad

TED WYMAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:56 PM ET

The NHL has gone to great lengths to promote itself in recent years with great ideas like the Winter Classic, HBO’s 24/7 and the All-Star Game Fantasy Draft.

But it’s pretty tough to promote your league when your biggest star isn’t playing and it has to be weighing on the NHL that Sidney Crosby continues to sit on the sidelines with a concussion.

He was hurt by a questionable headshot in the Winter Classic and the first sign of his concussion came while he was being filmed in the dressing room by HBO.

Now there’s talk his name won’t be called in the All-Star Fantasy Draft because he’s not ready to return to the ice.

Some reports Tuesday even suggested Crosby was ready to snub the all-star party to protest the league’s lack of protection for star players.

He later denied that, but there’s no denying Crosby’s head injury and the fact no supplemental discipline was handed down to the players who caused his injury, has become a black mark on a promising NHL season.

LUCKY YOU: The two luckiest hockey players on the planet today are Nik Lidstrom and Eric Staal. They get to both play in the NHL and enjoy the popular pastime that is fantasy hockey.

Lidstrom and Staal have been picked as captains for the NHL All-Star Game Fantasy Draft , which means they get to have all the fun on Jan. 28, doing something every Joe Six-Pack from Tofino to St. John’s would love to do.

If it doesn’t work out with Team Staal and Team Lidstrom this year, maybe next year they’ll take it up a notch and just go with sticks in the middle of the ice to pick the teams.

QUICK HITS: The day after Brett Favre “retired” from the NFL for the third time, another massage therapist came forward to Deadspin.com and said she received lewd and inneundo-filled texts from the future Hall of Fame quarterback. This one worked with Minnesota Vikings players. So was it really the love of the game or just the love of lovin’ that kept old Greybeard coming back for all those years ... Syndicated columnist Norman Chad on Green Bay’s talented young quarterback: “It looks like the Packers made the right decision in 2008 — Aaron Rodgers is younger, healthier and maybe as good as Brett Favre, and I don’t think he even has a text-messaging plan.” ... Looking for a little inspiration: How about Chance Anthony, a Kentucky high school football player who recently won the “Rudy Award” as the most inspirational high school player in the U.S. Anthony is a starting receiver and linebacker for his school, who led the team in receptions and can bench press 235 pounds despite weighing just 157 pounds himself. Oh, and did we mention he only has one arm? ... How desperate are the San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues to stay in the playoff race in the incredibly competitive NHL Western Conference? They actually both wanted to sign Kyle Wellwood, the very same player recently cut by a KHL team. The Sharks ended up getting him and all we can say is, good luck with that ... Former NHL tough guy Louie DeBrusk, who is now a commentator or Sportsnet, is facing assault charges amid reports he was involved in an altercation with a taxi driver and bystanders in Vancouver recently. We know what you’re thinking, but no, Patrick Kane was not in Vancouver that night ... For those of you who haven’t been disillusioned enough by the downfall of our sports heroes, the Sports Illustrated edition hitting the newstand today just might do the trick. It’s a piece entitled The Case Against Lance Armstrong and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of the seven-time Tour de France winner .

ted.wyman@sunmedia.ca


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