Sidney Crosby hopes suspension makes Zac Rinaldo more ‘apologetic’

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) and Philadelphia Flyers center Zac Rinaldo (36) collide in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, March 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The NHL hasn’t released a video explaining Zac Rinaldo’s eight-game suspension, which was for “charging and boarding” Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins last week. But one assumes Rinaldo didn’t do himself any favors with his behavior after the game.

Please recall Rinaldo making light of the incident after the game, an incident that sparked a fight-filled second period between the Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers. “Yeah, I changed the whole game, man. [Expletive], who knows what the game would have been like if I didn’t do what I did?” he said.

The NHL Department of Player Safety quickly announced he’d have an in-person hearing for the hit.

Rinaldo later tweeted he was sorry for the hit on Letang, which is something he didn’t say while defending the hit and glibly noting the subsequent violence it created.

And Sidney Crosby, Letang’s captain, says that’s the problem.

“It’s a fast game. Guys make mistakes out there, and they’re pretty quick to apologize,” said Crosby on Tuesday, after Penguins practice.

“But he didn’t seem to be too apologetic. We’ll see if that changes.

Crosby said he felt the suspension was a “strong message” from the NHL

“You hope that the number of games sends a message but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how many games it is, it’s about whether it’s enough for that guy to change his ways,” he said.

Crosby’s due back in the Penguins’ lineup this week, potentially against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.