Mike Milbury apologizes to Penguins, fans for Sidney Crosby comments

On Tuesday morning, we discussed Mike Milbury's comments about Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sports Radio 94WIP in Philadelphia, in which Milbury called Crosby "little goody two shoes" and a "little punk" and "not the perfect gentleman" and implied he's a hypocrite for playing on the edge after his "35th concussion" and punctuated the whole thing by saying, "screw him, hit him."

So, not exactly the kindest of evaluations of the NHL's biggest star.

He also had some pointed comments about Penguins Coach Dan Bylsma, who got into it with Philadelphia Flyers Coach Peter Laviolette on the benches (via CBS Philadelphia):

"It's not totally uncommon," Milbury said of Laviolette's behavior at the end of the game. "I can remember being on such a perch, or at least trying to climb over the boards to get at somebody to make a point. And I thought Dan Bylsma should have taken off his skirt and gone over there," he said.

Again with the challenges to masculinity, Mr. Milbury.

Just after noon on Tuesday, Milbury released the following statement regarding that interview:

"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."

Naturally, this will lead to questions about what exactly he's apologizing for, given the scatter-shot mockery during that interview segment. That he's a punk? The concussion stuff? The "hit him" declaration? Is this a full retraction?

Between this apology and his softening on player safety standards, are we witnessing the birth of the kinder, gentler Mike Milbury? Or did he just discover — behind the scenes — what happens when you call out the face of the NHL days before he's back on NBC?

UPDATE: Pierre LeBrun of ESPN caught up with Pens GM Ray Shero, who defending Crosby and said this about the concussion issues:

"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.''

Boy, Milbury stepped on that landmine.

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