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Shero defends Crosby in wake of criticism over Letterman snub

The Canadian Press

3/9/2010 6:04:01 PM

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero doesn't think it was fair Sidney Crosby received criticism after declining an opportunity to appear on the "Late Show with David Letterman."

The New York Post ran a story Sunday questioning Crosby's decision to turn down an invitation to read the show's Top 10 list during a stop in New York last week. The column ran under the headline: "Crosby blows NHL's golden chance."

Shero noted the Penguins star has had a packed schedule since scoring the winning goal at the Olympics and that the team was entering a stretch where it will play four games in six days.

"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."

Shero listed everything Crosby has done since the end of the Olympics to prove his point. The Penguins captain gave a number of one-on-one television interviews following his golden goal in Vancouver while also keeping up with his normal day-to-day media responsibilities.

The GM believes his player sets the standard when it comes to giving up his time.

"There's no one in the history of the game, (not) Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux, that's done more to promote the NHL than Sidney Crosby," said Shero.