Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



Some hack half-wit wrote in a Toronto paper that Sidney Crosby is boring and the Penguins are boring, but everything would be OK if Crosby “came home” to play for a Canadian team. 

That won’t happen. 

Crosby seems to embrace the Mario Lemieux/Steve Yzerman model of spending his entire career with one franchise, especially since he’s won three Stanley Cups and doesn’t need to go chasing a cheap ring. (See Bourque, Ray.) 

If Crosby ever leaves Pittsburgh, it won’t be to jump under a microscope in, say, New York, or with any of the Canadian teams. It won’t be to get paid in Canadian dollars, either. 

So, it’s unlikely that Crosby exits Pittsburgh. If he does, he won’t play for a Canadian team. 

You know what’s a lot more probable? 

That Connor McDavid asks out of Edmonton. The Oilers can’t win. They had the first overall draft pick four times in six years. They have two NHL MVPs on the team, in their prime. But no one thinks they’re close to a Stanley Cup. McDavid has won one playoff series in six seasons. 

Auston Matthews will get sick of Toronto. The Maple Leafs have more resources than any team in hockey, but haven’t won a Stanley Cup (or been to a final) since 1967. 

When McDavid wearies of Edmonton and/or Matthews wants out of Toronto, guess where they’re going to wind up? 

Got a dream to take them there – they’re coming to America. The land of milk and honey. Of higher earning potential. Where the teams actually win Stanley Cups. 

America will welcome them with open arms and checkbooks. Matthews could waltz back to his native Arizona like a prodigal son. What if McDavid took a bite out of the Big Apple? 

There is a much better chance that McDavid and Matthews finish their careers with teams in America than there is of Crosby finishing his with a team in Canada. Just like Wayne Gretzky headed south to Los Angeles.

The Toronto article was incredibly preposterous. I won’t link it, or mention the paper, or cite the author because it deserves no exposure. 

Ninety percent of Canadian hockey writers nationalize everything. 

Canada’s main source of national pride is a game. America wins world wars. Canada still talks about Paul Henderson in 1972. 

The ’72 Summit Series is Canada’s biggest lie. It was the first-ever meeting of Canadian pros and Soviet “amateurs.” 

The North American hockey media predicted eight straight wins. It was supposed to be easy. 

The Canadian pros showed up out of shape.

Bobby Hull and several other deserving players got snubbed by Canada because they left the NHL for the fledgling World Hockey Association, which apparently revoked their citizenship. 

Bobby Clarke broke the ankle of Soviet star Valery Kharlamov with a vicious slash in Game 6.

Canada’s staff flipped off the Moscow crowd after Game 8.

J.P. Parise was ejected from the final game after he threatened to slash a ref.

Canadian hockey impresario Alan Eagleson stole the money, and just kept stealing the money.

Canada barely won the series, four wins to three (with one tie) when Henderson scored to break a 5-5 tie with 34 seconds remaining in Game 8 at Moscow. 

So, Canada conveniently forgot all about the original expectations and their reprehensible conduct, invented a tale of triumph over tyranny and declared Henderson pope. 

Henderson’s heroics aside, it was really Phil Esposito who saved Canada’s backside in ’72. Just like Lemieux did in the 1987 Canada Cup and Crosby did in the 2010 Winter Olympics. 

Esposito, Lemieux, Crosby: Three great Canadian heroes who played their entire NHL careers in the United States and have seven Stanley Cups between them.

God bless America.

Courtesy of Getty Images

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