If this was any other team/player/situation combination, everyone from the fans to the players to the organization would be sweating. A former consensus #1 prospect slips to the middle of the first round, and now is pulled away from Team Canada in the Super Series versus Team Russia.
But its the Penguins, the most-stocked-with-badass-youth-stud-players team in the league. Esposito’s groin injury won’t cripple a team that returns guys named Crosby, Malkin, Staal and MAF. Even the 2nd tier players, guys like. Esposito’s groin injury will keep him out of the Super Series, but should give him ample time to rehab and prepare to possibly make the team when the season opens.
And the injury is said to be a sprain, so why not hold Esposito out of a seemingly pointless game (to an American, at least) in order to have him healthy for the upcoming ’07 season? I’m sure people in Canada are weeping, and Russians are pleased as punch, but as a Penguins fan, I couldn’t be more happy. If it is just a strain , there is no need to jeopardize a potentially stellar young career with Pittsburgh for a Super Series, Canada vs. Russia mega-matchup.
If you are Canadian of Russian, I don’t mean to offend you or your sports customs. This is just coming from a guy who is more heavily invested in his hometown Pens than he is with a so-called Super Series. I’m sure this has great meaning in your respective countries, but here in the ‘Burgh, we just wanna make sure our first round draft pick is ready for camp.
The Super Series would only hamper Esposito’s chances to make a speedy recovery.