The backlash is palpable but the league just doesn't learn. Promoting a player is one thing; that's good. But what they're doing with this guy is cartoonish. They don't get it, and I suspect they never will.
Pittsburgh has been playing great without Sid all season, but they have been promoted just like any other team. No excessive hype about how well Neal is playing or how Malkin has turned it around. For a few brief months, the league was somewhat objective and unbiased on who was making headlines and promotional attention. Since Sidney Crosby has returned, its nothing but him on NHL and TSN.
Its not about teams, several talented individuals, or even one team, but rather a single talented individual. After the league put all their eggs in one basket and that basket got hurt, you'd think they would have learned something by now. Instead they are taking the stance "We dodged a bullet there, hey everybody: SID'S BACK!! We were lost without him!"
To 90% of fans, Sid has become the annoying guy at a party. Everything is going fine, everyone is having fun, and then HE shows up. Changes the music, creeps on the girls, and is quick to start childish fights, due mostly to his LMS.