So the big hockey blog meme seems to be which team should wind up with Sidney Crosby:
Ben Wright weighs in here.
Jes Golbez gets his in here.
OffWing gets his two cents in here.
PJ from Sharkspage gives his pics here.
James Mirtle checks in here.
Even Reebok wants to know where he’ll go.
If I left anyone out, let me know.
I don’t think a big market team is necessary for Crosby to be a success. I’m sure ESPN will run a two-second highlight no matter who he plays for. But the reality is, very few sports fans down here in the states know who Sidney Crosby is. Playing in New York or LA isn’t going to suddenly make people interested in hockey. And any team Crosby plays on is going to get some extra attention from hockey fans.
The big key to his success is playing in an open, creative system. He’s going to have to put up goals and wins, in that order. He can’t be on top of 1-0 or 2-1 wins. He needs his wins (and losses) to be 5-3 or 6-4 for anyone to care.
He needs to be in an old school offense, where scoring goals is more important than stopping them.
And that knocks out most of the NHL.
I could see him doing well in Phoenix, which every year comes a little closer to being a real run-and-gun threat. The big down side to the Coyotes?
This is going to shock you.
I don’t think Wayne Gretzky as a coach is ready for prime time. He’s never run a bench. He’s going to be up against some very complex defenses. Defenses he never saw as a player. Obviously, Gertzky can lead on the ice. I’m not sure how effective he’ll be from a bench, though. I’d hate to see Crosby wilt under a coach struggling to find his feet.
In terms of hockey, I think Atlanta is pretty hot. Can you imagine a line of Ilya Kovalchuk, Danny Heatley and Sidney Crosby? It’s like THE OC meets SLAPSHOT. And Bob Hartley is a coach who knows how to run an open offense.
In fact, and I’m sooooo sure this won’t happen, if I were running the NHL, I would visit whoever won Crosby and make sure they knew he was to play in a creative, open system. I would suggest that if Crosby were to play in any kind of trap, or any kind of offense that didn’t involve him waiting at the red line for crisp passes out of the defensive zone, that there might be all kinds of problems. The NHL’s best chance at winning back fans is for Crosby to have a breakout season. Obviously, a great deal of that depends on Crosby. But that doesn’t mean that wherever he plays, the NHL can’t make it crystal clear that the offense is to be sculpted to Crosby’s skills and comfort.