Leave poor Sidney Crosby alone


I have to be honest here: I didn’t know about the Sidney Crosby
“snub” of David Letterman until earlier today and my immediate reaction
was “who cares?”.

If this had happened in the middle of July or
some other time when the Pittsburgh Penguins wasn’t actively playing an
NHL season, then I can understand the anger or dismay that he is “too
much of a celebrity” and can just turn down gigs like that. But the guy
had just finished up the Olympics, his team was on the road in New York
and getting ready to play a game, and you have to respect his decision
to focus on hockey.

I know he’s already done a ton of interviews
but this one was a bit different. From what I can tell, the sit downs
he’s had have been where they come to him, and they most likely worked
around his schedule. Going on Letterman is a different animal
altogether, and would take a considerable amount of time out of his day.
Not a whole lot, but it’s certainly going to be out of the way from his
normal routine.

Penguins GM Ray Shero wants everyone to lay off
as well:

“At some point there’s a responsibility, that he takes very
seriously, about being a hockey player and preparing,” Shero said
Tuesday at the NHL’s GM meetings. “To me, any criticism for Sidney isn’t
warranted. He does so much for the game, so much for the league. …

“He’s trying to do it all and it’s unfortunate he can’t do it all.
But he does a lot.”

I know not everyone loves Crosby and that there is some overexposure
backlash happening, especially among hard core fans. But the NHL needs
to have superstars to market and Crosby is one of them. But he can’t do
everything that is asked of him, and I was surprised at the reaction
this has received. That he gets attacked when he turns down something
like this is ridiculous.

Sabres recall Justin Bailey, son of former Bills linebacker

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 30:  Justin Bailey, drafted #52 overall by the Buffalo Sabres, looks on after he was drafted in the second round during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center on June 30, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The Buffalo Sabres have recalled forward Justin Bailey from AHL Rochester.

It’s the first time Bailey, a second-round pick in 2013, has ever been called up to the NHL. The 20-year-old joins the big club after piling up 11 points (5G, 6A) in his last eight games for the Americans.

Most Sabres fans will know that Bailey is from Buffalo (technically, Williamsville), the son of former Bills linebacker Carlton Bailey. (To learn more, click on this Buffalo News story from July.)

The Sabres play Thursday in Philadelphia, where Bailey will reportedly make his NHL debut.

To make room for Bailey on Buffalo’s roster, Zemgus Girgensons (lower body) was placed on injured reserve.

Yeo was ‘disappointed’ to see Hoppy the rabbit holding a ‘YEO MUST GO’ sign

Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo argues a call in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators Tuesday, March 17, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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Thing have gone from bad to weird in Minnesota, where embattled Wild coach Mike Yeo was “disappointed” to see Zenon Konopka’s rabbit holding a sign that read, “YEO MUST GO.”

Hey, we told you things had gotten weird.

Konopka, a former Wild player, took to Twitter last night after Minnesota’s latest loss.

Here’s what Konopka tweeted:

And what did Yeo think about that?

“I really don’t care what he says,” he told the Star Tribune, apparently adding with a laugh, “I will say I was very disappointed to see Hoppy holding that sign.”

Now, according to the newspaper’s Michael Russo, “Konopka and Yeo had a lot of issues behind the scenes and that’s why [Konopka] ended up on waivers two Januarys ago.”

Still, that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of Wild fans agree with Hoppy, er, Konopka, and it doesn’t change the fact that the Wild could really, really use a win tomorrow at home to Washington.

Video: Anisimov, Niskanen, McDavid star in Goals of the Week

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Nice work from Artem Anisimov and Matt Niskanen this week, but Connor McDavid‘s tally is on a different level.

You can pretty much bank on McDavid being in Goals of the Year, too. Just saying.

Oilers demote Nilsson, recall AHL standout Brossoit

Edmonton Oilers goalie Anders Nilsson, of Sweden, makes pad save against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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Laurent Brossoit is getting another crack at the NHL.

On Wednesday, the Oilers announced they demoted Anders Nilsson — who, earlier this year, was carrying the starting gig in Edmonton — and recalled Brossoit from AHL Bakersfield.

Brossoit, 22, is an interesting story. Taken in the sixth round of the 2011 draft (164th overall), he’s really made strides over the last year. He made his big-league debut at the end of last season and performed extremely well, making 49 saves on 51 shots in a loss to San Jose.

This year, Brossoit was named an AHL All-Star. He’s posted a 14-8-3 record for the Condors thus far, with a 2.70 GAA and .921 save percentage.

As for Nilsson, his demotion comes after losing the starting gig to Cam Talbot. Nilsson has also struggled to find the good form shown in November, when he made 10 starts and posted a .915 save percentage.

In his last outing, the lanky Swede allowed three goals on 10 shots in an embarrassing 8-1 loss to the Isles.