Penguins deny meeting for Crosby captaincy replacement

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Last week, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Dejan Kovacevic raised some eyebrows by reporting a group of Penguins players held a 45-minute meeting to discuss a temporary replacement for injured captain Sidney Crosby.

Yesterday, veteran winger Craig Adams vehemently denied the meeting took place.

“Ask every person in this room right now, point-blank, and they’ll deny it,” Adams said. “Knowing the people in this room, I don’t think that could happen here. And for it to be a topic of conversation, for some of our fans to think it did happen, that’s pretty sad.”

Pens GM Ray Shero also denied there was a meeting, though it should be noted the Tribune-Review says it stands by Kovacevic’s original report.

For some additional context into this situation, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada addressed the replacement captaincy issue (and Kovacevic’s article) on Saturday’s Hotstove segment. Here’s the transcription of what was said by host Ron MacLean and the Calgary Sun’s Eric Francis.

MacLean: The story came out of the assertion that the Penguins, within the room, said, “Look, if Sid can’t play, we need a captain.”

Francis: I spoke to Craig Adams, who’s one of the veteran leaders on that team, and he said absolutely no truth to it whatsoever and that the article really took them by surprise, that it really infuriated guys in that room, because they never saw it coming. This is a guy, who wrote this, who they say they’re totally unfamiliar with — he’s never been in their room, doesn’t know any of the players. So they took total exception to that and said there’s no truth to it.

Shortly thereafter, Kovacevic addressed Francis’ comments on Twitter.

“I’ve made my position clear and I know what’s behind it, as do the editors,” he said. “There’s a process at any newspaper. All sources disclosed.”