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Report: Sidney Crosby may skip All-Star Game in protest

Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates

Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against of the New York Islanders. (Dec. 29, 2010) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

No, not over the silly choose-up sides format, for which Crosby was passed over for a captain's slot today. Eric Staal of the host Hurricanes and the Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom will choose the squads for next weekend's All-Star Game in Raleigh.

Will Staal choose brother Marc? Hmmm. Anyway.

According to the Globe and Mail, Crosby may skip the game in protest of the league's weak stance on head shots.

Crosby hasn't played since Jan. 3 following a pair of hits he felt deserved penalties and/or further discipline. The Caps' Dave Steckel collided with Crosby during the Winter Classic and, two days later, the Lightning's Victor Hedman crunched Crosby into the end boards. Crosby, still the league's leading scorer, hasn't played since.

First, the "protest." It's doubtful Crosby will be cleared to play in the All-Star Game; if he comes back for the Penguins' last game before the break, then it's a possibility, but a remote one.

Next, to Crosby himself. He's been consistent in seeking tougher enforcement, even after teammate Matt Cooke's elbow to Marc Savard's head in March; perhaps it's time the league's top player seize the day, gather his players' association brethren around and read them the riot act. Because it's the players who are injuring one another, not Colin Campbell and the NHL.

And, lastly: If Crosby got his bell rung (old-school hockey term) by Steckel's hit on New Year's night, he shouldn't have played the next game. You don't need a trainer or a doctor to tell you to sit, not in this day and age. Crosby learned a hard lesson by playing the next game, one that no amount of penalty minutes or suspensions will change:

Being a hero, playing through a headache or nausea, is on you, not on the league.

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