Why does the league promote and protect Sindey Crosby? Because they really don't want to have to re-align the league to accommodate the Las Vegas (or Kansas City) Penguins.
Let's face it: when the Crosby years are five years done, the Pens "fans" currently filling seats at the Consol Center will be back to doing what they did after Lemieux retired and Jagr shipped out (not buying season tickets).
Don't get me wrong: I know plenty of real Pens fans. They're the ones who have 20 year old jerseys that they've either worn since they were new or were family hand-me-downs (and don't bear Crosby's or Malkin's numbers on them) Unfortunately, it seems like most of them aren't the ones in a geographical position to actually keep the Pens' arena filled. I should probably also cut Pittsburgh some slack: it's not like the city's economically big enough to fully support more than one team. Sadly for the Pens, the team the city's chosen to support is the Steelers.