Sirius XM’s Matthew Barnaby – a former Penguins player for parts of three seasons in his career – said that there are problems between Crosby, a two-time league MVP and Lemieux, a franchise icon, who co-owns the team with Ron Burkle.
Here is the full quote from Barnaby with Steve Kouleas on the air.
“But the more and more I looked into it, the more I found out, people with the same sentiments that there’s a big falling out between Mario (Lemieux) and (Sidney) Crosby. Now whether that pushes them to move him at some point? Whether he wants to move? That I don’t know, “ he said.
Barnaby was asked if the falling out has to do with Crosby’s contract, the coaching staff, losing, or not winning more than one Stanley Cup.
“I’ve heard over coaching, I’ve heard also after the (2014) playoffs when they lost out,” Barnaby said. “Maybe the personnel isn’t right?”
Lemieux was then quoted on the issue by the Penguins' official Twitter feed later Wednesday.
Mario Lemieux on rumored 'rift' with Sidney Crosby: "It's absolutely not true. It's silly."
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 25, 2015
With three goals and 11 points in 20 games, Crosby is going through the worst season of his NHL career. Last season he had the lowest points per-game total of his career at 1.09 – his first season under new coach Mike Johnston with new general manager Jim Rutherford. Former coach Dan Bylsma was fired after the team blew a 3-1 series lead to the New York Rangers in the second-round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Recently, star center Evgeni Malkin called out the team saying “Everything [is wrong]. We’re not playing right. We’re not working hard. We’re mad at each other. We need to stop, look in the mirror, and start working.”
The Penguins rank 26th out of 30 teams in the NHL scoring 2.20 goals per-game – though their 2.30 goals against per-game ranks sixth in the league.
They haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 2009 and haven’t been back to a Cup Final since.
The Pens rank third in the Metropolitan Division with 24 points at 12-8-0 on the season.
When Crosby entered the NHL in 2005-06, he lived in Lemieux’s house, staying there for several years.
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