A Farewell To Arms: Sidney Crosby Appears Dangerously Close to Playing in Europe

Would it be un-Canadian of Sidney Crosby to fly across the pond and play out what remains of the 2012/13 season in Russia, or Finland, or Sweden? Belarus? Switzerland?

Or, is it continually irresponsible of him to waste eight months of his prime out of action?

Certainly, NHL owners don’t want their players fleeing to show down elsewhere. They want to protect their assets — even as they continually insult them and call them cattle¬†— but they also want them at the negotiating table. And, Crosby is the most important piece of that puzzle.

He’s the game’s biggest ambassador, and he’s the most important Canadian in the league.

Now, a debut of the European version of Sid the Kid feels imminent.

“You know what? It’s a lot more possible right,” he said on Tuesday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I probably hadn’t thought about it quite as much as I have the past few days… It’s definitely been something… with the way things are looking now, it’s not looking too good.”

As Sportsnet reports, Crosby is owed $111.9 million over the next 13 years in Pittsburgh, and a lockout would cost the team up to $400,000 with his guaranteed contract in place.

But, really, wouldn’t his exodus help everyone?

It would help Sidney Crosby, whose last two seasons have been battered and bruised with repreated concussion symptoms and scares. He needs to play now, and he needs to keep himself in fighting shape.

And, for his ownership and the Penguins, they need him doing the same. They could also offload that potential $400K onto whatever Euro club takes him. They also wouldn’t have to deal with his popularity or presence at the negotiating table, and the exit of the league’s last great holdout would only help them win their case.

Of course, Crosby knows this. Loyalty is a funny thing.

It’s getting closer and closer to the point of no return but, if Crosby bolts, you can consider the NHL season gone with him.