It is always somewhat jarring to cover locker clean out day. It is the end of the season regardless of winning a championship or, in this case, the Pittsburgh Penguins whimpering sweep. The players stroll through the locker room after having met with coaches for their exit interviews dressed in casual clothes, clean shaven and otherwise not looking like the hockey players we’ve chased around the room for eight months.
Sidney Crosby was the last player to speak. He walked through the locker room at the Penguins Cranberry practice facility in bare feet. The media hoard gathered around his locker stall was so thick, he stood at the back of it for a moment, unable to get through…and no one realized Crosby was behind them.
Our Shelly Anderson was up front, so I lurked away from the scrum and watched it unfold, struck by the human element. Here is one of the greatest hockey players of all time walking into a media hoard but they didn’t even see him coming. It would have been an awesome practical joke had he just waited a few more seconds or started shouting ridiculous questions.
But Sid wasn’t in the mood. He knew he had to answer some tough questions about his Penguins team, though Shelly did get a smile and a little joke when she asked about his hockey plans this summer.
Sidney Crosby will mull the season for a little while longer, then move on (PHN Extra)
Brian Rust and Jared McCann disclosed serious injuries, though McCann was sporting an awesome hat: Bushwood CC 1980 Caddy Championship (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
I’m sure a 22-year-old professional athlete will do some putting at night but remember, a flute with no holes is not a flute. A donut with no holes is a Danish.
If you don’t get that reference, please see me after class.
Matt Cullen didn’t announce his retirement. He maintained his traditional stance that he’ll take some time with his family to think about it. He did say he felt better down the stretch than he has in a long time. He’ll likely retire, but after participating in his little scrum up close, I’m no longer 100% that he walks away. More like 80/20. But would the Penguins even have room if he wanted one more?
Cullen also talked about his boys forever being Pittsburgh fans. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Kris Letang shot back with a little sarcasm when asked about his turnovers and mistakes in the Round One series. Letang can have some bite when chatting with the media, especially when he feels the criticism is unwarranted. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
And the bombshell. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford started slow, then began hammering his team. The more he talked the greater he exposed the likelihood of BIG changes this summer. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Check out the locker room videos on our YouTube channel–Pittsburgh Sports Live.
Phil Kessel also talked yesterday and may have slipped regarding his future plans. Shelly and I rewatched it and still disagreed. That story will publish this morning, and we’ll have more stories on Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust, too.