Crosby's just a kid

A story moved across the newswire a night ago that Ray Shero, the Penguins' new general manager, and Michel Therrien, Pittsburgh's coach, were weighing whether Sidney Crosby, at left, could trade up and wear the captain's "C" on the chest of his No. 87 sweater.

Before the Penguins' braintrust makes its decision, I have one simple, and quite possibly overlooked, question. Even though he said he'd accept the captaincy if offered, don't you think Crosby has had enough responsibility placed on his shoulders?

The team ownership, even in its transitional stage, knows he's responsible for every sellout at the antiquated Igloo. Reebok has invested millions, and its growing hockey empire, in his servitude as the RBK Hockey poster boy. Hell, even half of Canada, not just picturesque Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, claims to be related to him.

C'mon, the Kid is just 17 days past his 19th birthday. At that age, he should be more worried about finding time to play fetch with his dog, Buster, than waiting for another unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty every time he bitches -- rightfully so, too -- about yet another non-call.

Not that Shero or Therrien would give a rat's ass to what I think, but Crosby will do just fine wearing an "A" for the next couple of years. Give him time to show the refs and the league's players that he's not a whiner. Even more, give him time to learn how to lead, and not just by example.

Crosby, with the good Lord's and Hockey Gods' blessings, will be around for years. We should all sit back and enjoy it. Just let him play.


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