Last year, Penguins fans had their hearts literally ripped from their chest when our superstar, leader, hero and best player in the history of the world at any sport, Sidney Crosby suffered back-to-back concussions. The first dirty hit came during the Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Jan. 1 from Capitals defensemen David Steckel.
The following game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, or as hockey fans call them, "the Bolts," happened on Jan. 5. Crosby took another nasty hit from Victor Hedman, leaving him with a concussion. Further testing following this hit did indicate that Sid suffered a concussion just four nights before during the Winter Classic.
And the fans haven't seen him since. And it's been hard.
Crosby missed the remainder of the regular season (41 games) and playoffs (7 games) last year and could miss the start of this year's season.
Folks, this could be something that may cost him his career. Could you imagine if a 24 year old at the top of his game and in the prime of his career suffered from a career-ending injury? Just thinking about that possibility makes me want to burn my Penguins gear and never watch the sport again.
This summer, Sid spent a lot of time at home in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia to first, get away from the media and second, to start working back to health.
But that hasn't gone so well.
Recent reports indicate that Sid continues to have setbacks in his training sessions and the concussion-like symptoms continue to halt his progress.
And while Sid hides from the media and Twitter blows up with rumors, you have to wonder about how much we're hearing on his progress is actually true. Fact is, Penguins players will commence their training camp mid-September and Sid is not going to be there.
I don't think he is OK. The less news we hear about Sid and how he is doing, the more I fear it means the situation is worse than it is… and it's a shame for hockey.
When the goons in the game outweigh the stars, the NHL has a serious problem on their hands. It's an absolute joke that hockey's executives allow these goons to outweigh the actual talent. If Sid is done for a while, and I am really getting tired of saying that because it just stings, the NHL is going to suffer as well.
Sid has won the Olympic gold medal, the Stanley Cup and the NHL MVP Award in 2006. If there is any relief in this horrible story, Sid has already solidified his name as one of hockey's best ever.
Every day, like kissing my daughter goodbye, I fear we are never going to get to see Sid skate in an NHL game again. And I think about it a lot. I think I have finally come to the conclusion that the NHL Rules Committee has to fix this.
For example, headshots mean you're out of the game until the player returns from the injury. There needs to be stiffer penalties for cheap shots and high hits to the head. I think a lot, that perhaps this may be and equipment issue. The equipment may be too good. It allows the goons of the league to hit harder.
I also think about bringing back the enforcer. In Gretzky's days, he had all kinds of protection and was not to be touched. Sid should be no different and teams should be able to employ these enforcers and pay them well to cover their superstars' backs. I've also been thinking that it is going to be one sad day when we finally find out that Sid is done for his career.
Finally, I am just going to throw in this paragraph to defend any comments against Crosby's strength. Penguins fans have heard it all! We get it. You don't like Sid because you think he is a crybaby and is weak. If he played for your team, you would love him just as much as Penguins fans do. His leadership qualities are endless. His knowledge of the game may be tops all-time and his talent is the best the game has ever seen. And he might never play again, so back off haters.
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Published: August 29, 2011