Open Letter to the Stanley Cup "Non Winners"

Dave DunseithContributor IJune 19, 2009

DETROIT - JUNE 12: Philippe Boucher #43 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with the Stanley Cup after defeating the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 2-1 to win Game Seven and the 2009 NHL Stanley Cup Finals at Joe Louis Arena on June 12, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With the conclusion of more than two months of grueling battles on the ice finally being settled Friday night, the new war is one of words—a war of words being waged in the the media.  With the daily reports that keep seeping out of Detroit, it seems the Red Wings are not as gracious in defeat as they are in victory.

The biggest flap with the Wings is that Crosby was not a "gracious" winner, and as captain disrespected Lidstrom and the Wings by "taking his time" to shake hands at the conclusion of the game.

Well, looking at the above picture, I see the newly crowned champions (Crosby with Cup raised), standing at centre ice with the rest of the victorious Penguins with not a Red Wing to be found.

I must admit it's a sweet sight to see the 2009 Champs celebrating on the symbol of excellence of the past decade in the NHL.  I am neither a Wings nor a Penguins fan (but fan of Crosby and the Canadian Content on the Penguins), but I have always praised the Red Wings organization for being the "Class" of the League.

With a recent history of players such as Yzerman, Shanahan, and Lidstrom on the ice, and the personnel of Kenny Holland, Jim Nill, and Scotty Bowman off the ice, this team has demonstrated nothing but the highest level of excellence, and earned the respect of the league.

But after losing to the upstart Penguins on home ice Friday night...they have taken on the identity of "Spoiled Brats" of the NHL, with Kris Draper and Henrik Zetterberg being vocal about "handshake gate."

Mike Babcock was quoted as more or less saying the Penguins' play was just "part of the equation" to them winning the championship and that they didn't as much "beat" the Red Wings as much as the Wings due to injuries and other obstacles just weren't up to winning.

This to me is Babcock's twisted way of saying that the Penguins were not the better team, just that the Wings were a victim of timing and circumstance.

(Hey, Mike, Gonchar was hurt since the Washington series, and Crosby missed half of Game Seven...didn't stop them!) 

So, in the end, maybe if Detroit had been able to snipe as often on the ice as they are now doing off the ice after the fact, they wouldn't be in the position they are.