Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby recently joined Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman’s 32 Thoughts. While Crosby was happy to discuss the Pens’ interesting offseason and upcoming campaign, he also touched on one thing that confuses him and his teammates: suspensions.

“It’s still something where you see a highlight or you see a clip and you don’t know the range of a suspension,” said Crosby. “You don’t know whether it’s going to be a suspension or not. That’s how I feel.”

Crosby, in his nearly-1200-game career, has never been suspended.  Plenty of his teammates have, though, including Evgeni Malkin (4 games) and Kris Letang (1 game).

The captain understands the difficult nature faced by the Department of Player Safety. Each situation is different, each rule is complex, and the league often has to make a determination of intent when assessing a play. 

“I know it’s not an easy job for anybody but I still feel there’s a bit of a grey area there,” said Crosby. “I don’t think anyone is ever going to agree on length or what the intentions were on a play. That’s always going to be debatable.”

“I would like to think we can get a little bit closer to what it is exactly and maybe what the punishment is.”


It’s not clear if Crosby would be in favor of minimum suspensions for certain plays, but it is apparent that he’s looking for consistency in the rulings, and perhaps a but more transparency on how they arrive at those decisions.

During the interview, Crosby acknowledged the challenges on-ice officials face in making real-time penalty calls, especially with grey areas or snap judgments in situations subject to interpretation. 

“Penalties are alwayas going to be like that,” Crosby admitted. “We’re always going to question what we saw. It’s so easy, with replay we can dissect it.”

That’s one luxury shared by the Department of Player Safety: the ability to break things down via replay. 

Sid’s cutting the refs a break, but it’s clear the Pens captain expects more from Player safety.



For more from Sid, check out Crosby’s full 32 Thoughts interview with Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman.