One of the great things about listening to NBC’s Mike Milbury is that you never know what pearls of wisdom, outrage or insult will emanate from his lips.
This much you do know: no matter what Milbury says, someone will be offended and everyone will want to listen to say they heard it themselves.
That’s what made him so attractive to NBC.
While Pierre McGuire might be the network’s staunchest defender of Sidney Crosby, Milbury is easily at the other end of the spectrum.
This week, Milbury caused his on-air partner, Keith Jones, to double-take a bit – it takes a lot to stun Jonesy – when he referenced Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as a pair of “crack addicts,” during the Flyers-Penguins NBC broadcast on Wednesday.
Milbury wasn’t saying the NHL needs to get these two superstars in a substance abuse program.
What he was saying was their desire to dominate play in the offensive zone and their craving for the puck once there, was like a crack addict needing a fix.
It’s the kind of Milbury gem that the network knows will draw attention, and ratings.
“The big guys, Malkin and Crosby,” Milbury said, “they're like crack addicts. They can't get enough of this offensive stuff. They want to go coast to coast and score goals, but it leads to some trouble.”
In the past, as the Pittsburgh Tribune Review pointed out, Milbury has called Crosby “a punk” and a “little goodie two shoes.”
Crosby handled the latest comparison with typical aplomb.
“I wasn't aware of it,” he said, with sarcasm, according to the Tribune Review. “He watches so much hockey, he must know. I'll try to do a better job of playing defensively.”
Pens defenseman Matt Niskanen told the paper, “It's a little irritating. I try not to get too flustered by it. He always has a bonehead remark to make.
“He's said some bizarre things about us since I got here. He's definitely got something against us.”
Milbury is an equal-opportunity offender.
Just ask the Sedin Twins – Henrik and Daniel. He once called them, “Thelma and Louise.”
And that list doesn’t end there, either, but you get the point.
Associated Press, Buffalo News, Calgary Herald, Pittsburgh Tribune Review contributed to this story.