Why Did A Pittsburgh Newspaper Remove A Reference To Sidney Crosby's Contract Demands From Its Website?S

Toward the end of a story published Monday about the Penguins' trade with the Capitals for goaltender Tomas Vokoun, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review did a roundup of the Pens' offseason priorities, including their upcoming negotiations to extend Sidney Crosby's contract, which expires after next season. But the original story was later updated, and the specific language about the terms the team believes Crosby is seeking was replaced with an anodyne reference to the upcoming negotiations. The discrepancy was first caught by Travis Hughes of SB Nation, and it was later picked up by Pro Hockey Talk and The Pens Blog.

The original story made the rounds in a number of hockey circles because it was believed to be the first inkling of what Crosby might want in his next contract. A cached version of the story can be viewed here, and this is the paragraph in question:

Crosby's camp is seeking a lengthy deal, one the Penguins anticipate being at least seven years in term – possibly 10 or more. Crosby has said he does not expect any problems working out a new contract to remain with the Penguins.

But the only reference to Crosby that same linked story now brings up is this:

Shero confirmed to Trib Total Media in December that signing Sidney Crosby to a new contract is the team's top priority this summer.

So what happened? Apparently the kind of breakdown that occurs when newspapers try to use the internet. Newspaper writers often file breaking news throughout the day and then write something completely different on the same topic for the print edition that gets published the following day. In print, of course, space is limited, and since the thrust of The Trib's story was about the Vokoun trade, much of the rest got cut. Because newspapers are known to try to maximize web traffic on a particular item, they'll often replace the breaking news story with the print edition story, even while keeping the permalink the same. An industry source in Pittsburgh confirmed that this is what happened here. And given that another Trib reporter went on the radio this afternoon and referenced the terms of the original breaking news report, it sounds like the paper had no nefarious reason to delete the information. It just would have been much more fun if it did.

Photo via AP.