Sidney Crosby avoided a penalty when he gave Marc Methot a whack on the left hand Thursday night, however the Pittsburgh Penguins superstar has received a flood of criticism for the uncalled slash.
In particular, Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk lambasted Crosby Friday and wants to see the NHL’s Department of Player Safety take action.
“You do anything that’s almost a certain injury and I think the only way to do it is you wipe the guy off the map for not one or two games, (but) 10. How about a season for a few of these guys? Really. He takes my guy, I take your guy. That’s my attitude,” Melnyk told Ottawa’s TSN 1200.
Melnyk also didn’t sound surprised that the slash came from Crosby.
“We all know who he is and the guy is just a whiner beyond belief,” Melnyk said. “You do this kind of stuff — I don’t care who you are in the league, I don’t care if you’re the No. 1 player in the league — you should sit out a long time for this kind of crap. I really do.”
Melnyk said he reached out to the league but hasn’t heard back regarding potential supplemental discipline for Crosby.
“The guy that creates the injury should be sitting out. They should watch the games together for the rest of the season. That’s the kind of attitude I have. There’s no room for that,” Melnyk added. “I see the things behind the scenes of what happens from slashes and they’re ugly. They’re just as ugly as Marc’s. But Marc’s was so visible, it was a terrifying thing to look at those pictures. I don’t even want to think about it, it was that disgusting.
“So that’s the only way to do it. You hammer these guys. You take away their money, because they all understand money and you simply say, ‘You’re done for 10 games,’ and guess what, you guys are not going to get anywhere close to the Stanley Cup if it’s an elite player on the other side. There’s no room for it in the NHL.”
Methot’s finger was mangled on the play. Senators coach Guy Boucher doesn’t expect to see the top-four defenceman back in the lineup for a while.
“His finger is destroyed. It’s shattered and he’s out for weeks,” Boucher told reporters following the Senators’ 2-1 shootout win.
Crosby played it off like it was just part of the game.
“I’m just trying to get his stick, and I think I caught his finger, judging by his reaction and their reaction,” Crosby said. “I’ve gotten those before, they don’t feel good.”
It has been an eventful week for the Penguins captain. In a Tuesday game against the Buffalo Sabres, Crosby scored a goal-of-year candidate, lost a couple Chiclets on an Evander Kane high stick, and drew some criticism for his, well, let’s call it a “love tap” to Ryan O’Reilly’s nether region—he wasn’t penalized for that one either.
NHL senior VP of player safety Stephane Quintal hasn’t been shy about handing out punishments this season, with five players getting suspended in the past three weeks alone, however it’s unclear if Crosby will face any sanctions.