Welcome Back Sid: But What’s the REAL Reason For the Timing of His Return?

Have you heard that Sidney Crosby is coming back?

No? Well now you have.

If you are like most people, chances are you’ve already heard that he is coming back tonight somewhere around 2,000 times. The entire hockey media world has stopped and proceeded to make their pilgrimage to Pittsburgh as Crosby will be in the lineup for the first time since January. Crosby will take a crack at one of the worst teams in the league, the New York Islanders, who currently sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. This will mark the first time in a long time that the Penguins have had their “big 3” centers healthy and ready to play.

As someone who lives around the Pittsburgh area and who has been a hard core Penguins fan for many years, I have to admit that I’m absolutely sick of the media scrum.  Not only am I drowning in the same news over and over again, I cannot get away from it. I mean, even the local grocery stores have decorated their Thanksgiving sweets to say “Welcome Back 87”. Think it is a bit of a overkill?

Since the media is already has tunnel vision and is neck deep in the Sidney Crosby coverage – with over 250 credentialed media for the game – I thought I’d list the real reason as to why Crosby coming back is such a big deal.

5. Christmas junkies can finally add the missing piece to their holiday set.

Since most people bypass Thanksgiving and only look forward to the December holidays, the return of Crosby means that the fans can unveil the final piece to their decorations that have already been up for three weeks.

For only $25.00, you can finally add the superstar to next to your Christmas tree set. This item knows no religious boundaries! Figurine Crosby is ready for the Hanukkah Bush too. Notice how #87 is wearing his away jersey before entering your home.  How appropriate!

4. Crosby was able deflect the all the media attention from returning defenseman Zbynek Michalek.

What seems to be lost in the entire Crosby scrum is that Penguins are also getting back one of their top defensive defenseman in Zbynek Michalek. The Czech native is used to patrolling the blue line against the some of the oppositions top players. We can all thank Crosby that there aren’t 30 microphones in the face of Michalek. How thoughtful!

3. The North American media couldn’t handle talking about the success of the Minnesota Wild and Florida Panthers.

The 2011-2012 season has brought us plenty of story lines, including the magical success of two franchises that have been struggling for years. The Minnesota Wild have roared out of the gates, posting 27 points in just 20 games to statistically become the best team in the league standings. In the Eastern Conference, the Florida Panthers roster experiment has found success so far with 10 wins in their first 19 games. Do we really have to talk about Mikko Koivu and Tomas Fleischmann? Everyone knows these teams aren’t very sexy. Thanks Sid!

2. Crosby felt the need to help the organization +1 up their state rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers.

This morning the Philadelphia Flyers held a press conference inside Citizens Bank Park to officially unveil their 2012 Winter Classic Jerseys. Little did the Flyers know that the one player they absolutely hate foiled the press conference they have been planning for weeks. Instead of introducing the jersey to prominent national media members, they were bombarded with rain checks. Anyone ask Max Talbot how he feels about the jersey? Incredibly sneaky!

1. The Penguins have finally found a center for James Neal.

After losing two games in a row, the bandwagon fans have started to complain the lack in production for Penguins winger James Neal. Being a point per game player isn’t good enough for these fans. Since Neal hasn’t registered a point in the mini losing streak, something is horribly wrong. Maybe he needs a new center? Enter Sidney Crosby. Besides, we all know that if you let Phil Kessel surpass you in the stat rankings, you’re obviously struggling. What relief!

If you still want more media coverage about Crosby, the NHL Network has just the thing for you. Beginning at 5:30PM, NHL Live will have Penguins General Manager Ray Shero, sportscaster Dave Strader, and TSN analyst Bob McKenzie join the broadcast in various spots. These three will be an addition to the already packed lineup of Barry Melrose, Darren Dreger, and Marc Crawford who are supposed to be reporting live from Pittsburgh.

Tonight’s game will be broadcasted on Versus (United States), CBC (Canada), and Root Sports Pittsburgh (Local Market).