Craig Adams, What Are You Thinking?


What on earth is going through Craig Adams‘ head these days?

The veteran winger, and longtime mainstay on the Penguins’ fourth line, has been playing a peculiar game as of late, and his off-day antics may be sealing his ticket out of the Steel City.

Adams has been involved in some highly publicized incidences during the team’s recent practices. The first came last week when it was reported that he and Evgeni Malkin tussled during a “battle drill” while practicing, with the tension escalating into a full-on fist fight.

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While Adams was bloodied and forced to play the next few games sporting a jaw protector on his helmet, the team and fans alike chalked it up to competitive passion getting the better of two teammates.

However, the incident doesn’t seem to be a one-time thing, as the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Jason Mackey noted that Adams looked notably aggressive during the Pens’ recent practice, throwing out dangerous checks on prospect Derrick Pouliot (dumping him along the boards on the shoulder Pouliot recently had surgically repaired) and getting physical with Malkin once again.

To Adams, I say simply this – what are you thinking?

Sure, there is an argument to be made that Adams, one of the club’s oldest veterans, is trying to lift his team out of a losing stretch by lighting a fire under them.

But even if that is the case, he’s going about it in a pretty dim-witted way.

You want to inspire your teammates? Practice hard, Craig. Skate your heart out and give 110% on the ice. Hey, even go for 120 if you’re feeling feisty.

But laying out your own teammates in practice – when said team is already the most unlucky in the league in terms of going down with injury – is probably not the solution.

Luckily for Adams, he didn’t choose any significant members of the Pens to target – just their leading scorer and brightest young prospect.

Good call.

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I’ll be the first to admit that the Pens are in need of a wake-up call. They’ve won only 2 games in their last 8 contests and, while injuries played a major role in that slide, they still boast some of the best players in the game, and have a fairly healthy and strong lineup at the moment.

That being said, the last thing this team needs is a guy like Adams – who is on the team for no other reason than to serve a specific, minor role (one that could easily be served by someone younger, faster, and cheaper) – disrupting the team further with unnecessarily risky physicality during practice.

With incidents like these continuing to take place, Adams could very well be playing his way off this team – and if things continue as they have been, his teammates may not be too sad to see him go.