Mike Milbury’s comments on Philadelphia radio regarding Sidney Crosby’s concussion history has left the Pittsburgh Penguins fuming.
"If it was an attempt at comedy, it falls real short," Penguins GM Ray Shero told ESPN.com Tuesday.
Shero takes serious issue with Milbury’s reference, obviously in jest, to Crosby’s "35th concussion."
The controversial broadcaster was on sports radio 94WIP in Philadelphia on Monday morning discussing the previous day’s game between the Penguins and Flyers, which ended in a mini-brawl:
"Little goody two-shoes [Crosby] goes into the corner and gives a shot to [Brayden] Schenn," Milbury said. "Schenn was late to the party, he should have turned around and drilled him right away, but I guess better late than never. So you know, Crosby gets cross-checked, big whoop. He said after he came back from his 35th concussion, ‘I’m not going to do this anymore, I’m not going to get into these scrums, I’m going to stay away from that stuff.’ He couldn’t help himself because there’s a little punk in Crosby. He’s not the perfect gentleman. He’s not the sweet kid you see in interviews with his hat pulled down over his eyes. I’d say screw him, hit him."
Shero said the concussion comment crossed the line.
"It’s fine to have an opinion on players but when you’re making light of concussions, that’s not right,” said Shero. "I’ve gone through this with my own kid (who had a concussion), obviously we’ve gone through it as a team with Sidney Crosby and saw what it took for him to battle back from it over the past year, there’s nothing funny about post-concussion syndrome. I don’t think it would have been very funny had he made fun of [concussed Flyers captain] Chris Pronger in that light. There’s nothing funny about [former Flyers captain] Keith Primeau having to retire from it. This is an issue that is at the forefront of our league right now and to make light of these concussions is a real lame attempt at humor. He should know better than this.’’
As for Milbury calling Crosby a "goody two-shoes,’’ Shero doesn’t understand it.
"I’m not sure what he’s implying there,” he said. "Sidney Crosby is a fierce competitor, that’s what makes him great, that’s what makes him a great captain. It’s no different than a Peter Forsberg -- they’re fierce competitors and they play to win the game."
The full Milbury clip on 94WIP can be found here.
Milbury issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, apologizing for his comments:
“I reached out to David Morehouse and the Penguins about the comments I made yesterday on Philadelphia radio. In hindsight, I realize what I said was inappropriate and wrong, and I want to apologize to the Penguins organization and their fans.”
The rival Penguins and Flyers are slated to open the playoffs against each other in the first round next week.