Sidney Crosby is playing down the handshake controversy at the end of the Stanley Cup final, saying he didn't realize some Detroit Red Wings players were leaving the ice while he celebrated with his teammates.
"I really don't need to talk to anyone from Detroit about it," the Pittsburgh Penguins star said Sunday. "I made the attempt to go shake hands. I've been on that side of things, too. I know it's not easy, waiting around.
"I just won the Stanley Cup, and I think I have the right to celebrate with my teammates."
While Crosby and the rest of the Penguins celebrated their 2-1 victory Friday in Game 7, several Red Wings left the ice, tired of waiting to shake hands with the winning captain and his teammates.
Players who left before Crosby lined up to shake hands included Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom and Kris Draper.
Boos rain down
A chorus of boos rained down on the Penguins at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena during the celebrations, as many fans were upset that some Pittsburgh players took a long time to line up for the handshakes.
"Nick was waiting and waiting, and Crosby didn't come over to shake his hand. That's ridiculous, especially as their captain, and make sure you write that I said that," Draper said after the game.
Crosby said he shook hands with about half the team, including goalie Chris Osgood and coach Mike Babcock, who congratulated him on his leadership.
"I had no intentions of trying to skip guys and not shake their hands," Crosby said. "I think that was a pretty unreasonable comment [from Draper]. The guys I shook their hands with, they realized I made the attempt.
"If I could shake half their team's hands, I'm sure the other half wasn't too far behind. I don't know what happened there."
Crosby said he understands why some Red Wings wanted to leave quickly after the final buzzer sounded, and any notion that he would intentionally avoid the customary handshake is ridiculous.
"It's the easiest thing in the world to shake hands after you win.… On their side of things, I understand if they don't want to wait around.
"I have no regrets. I've been on both sides of it, and it's not fun being on the losing end. But it doesn't change anything. You still shake hands, no matter what."