Of Mice and Men: Will Sidney Crosby Head to Europe or the KHL?

Editor, White Cover Magazine

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You know how there’s always the one last sliver of a kernel of popcorn that won’t leave you teeth. You try picking at it, somehow pulling at it. You wrap your tongue into contortions no man knew existed. The inside of your mouth seems to sweat. You use almost everything to get it out — toothpicks, at first, and then credit cards or business cards. It’s always in those situations that you need floss, but never have it. Ultimately, the business card crumbles under the moisture of your mouth — as you know it will — and you’re left with soggy paper, which joins the kernel in between your mollar and your incisor (*if that’s scientifically correct). You, of course, will eventually get that kernel out, but only after you’ve killed every last fiber of energy on your brain and ruined your O-face for every woman passing by on the sidewalk.
Sidney Crosby is that bit of popcorn.

While everyone else was bailing and flailing for Europe — ultimately deciding that canals and cafes beat a snowy winter of nothing at their parent’s farm in Hamilton, Ontario — Crosby had remained rather… silent.
There were grumblings here and there about whether he would leave, but most of it was about a Canadian kid staying on this side of the Titanic. It was all malarkey  of course (full points to Biden for bringing that one back), because Sidney wasn’t staying in Canada out of any loyalty to Tim Horton’s or Nova Scotia. But, for whatever reason, he hadn’t yet joined Joe Thornton and Rick Nash in Switzerland, or Datsyuk, Malkin, and Ovechkin in Russia, or Wayne Gretzky in Russia, or Evander Kane in Belarus.
“I’ll wait and see,” he said on September 23, only a few days after this Lockout became official (I capitalize it because I think it’s important). I don’t have a hard date (to go overseas) or anything like that… I just want to get a feel for how things move along here and hopefully there are some positive talks and some movement, and a sign that things are going to get done here. But, I’ll just wait and see how things do.”
Crosby was here. At least, for now.
If anything, yesterday’s Days of Our Lives-like emotional dismantling of a possible deal — the NHL offered something with 50/50 attached to it, the NHLPA counter-offered, and the NHL rejected it — can’t be hope for a brighter tomorrow. It wasn’t one of those “Yes, We Can” moments from 2008 that worked out so well. It was a calm and rational statement about his outlook.
It just sounded like he was waiting for the boom, so to speak.
“There was simply no way for Sidney Crosby to hide his disappointment,” wrote the National Post‘s Chris Johnston, on Friday. (And people say I editorialize?)
“Just one week after telling The Canadian Press he was confident a deal could be struck that would save the NHL season, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain acknowledged Thursday that he was going to start looking closer at what options might be available for him in Europe.”
Then, Sid spoke.

“I think that’s something that everyone’s got to figure out,” he said. “You try to figure out where things stand and I don’t think they’re in a great spot right now.”

“Today wasn’t really a step in the right direction if that’s what we’re trying to do.”  

Ah, how cryptic of you, Batman. (Or, Penguin.) It doesn’t really answer everyone’s query about you, although everyone knows it must be hard to be you right now. You know we’re watching you… waiting for you… hoping you’ll make your choice. Some of us want you to stay in Canada — or, at least in North America — because of some crazy, ridiculous maple syrup we have in our hearts that tells us nobody is Canadian if they leave for a little while. Well, some people get a pass.
The rest of us realize that you don’t actually play in Canada, anyway.
And, most of us don’t care.
All we know is, it has to get a lot worse before it can get better, and Crosby knows this. Maybe he’s just waiting for someone to give him the green light, and he can be off to the red light (district) of some Russian town or some Dutch tavern.
“The labour impasse comes at a time when Crosby is as healthy as he’s been in a long time,” continued Johnston. “It’s looking more likely he’ll have to join the roughly 150 other locked-out NHLers abroad to resume playing.”
Maybe he has no intention to leave. Of course, if he did, he would have said that. Where there’s an unlocked door, there may as well be window, and that window leads straight to the European frontier.