Everyone knew that Sidney Crosby’s concussion was serious. And with the new awareness of concussions in the sports world, Crosby and the Penguins were doing the right thing and taking things slowly. It seemed as though Crosby was progressing along well, but maybe that’s because people were taking the “no news is good news” approach.
But a few weeks ago, there was a report that Crosby had taken a step or two back in his recovery. Many questioned the validity of the report and even more scoffed at the fact that the report came without an identified source. I know that I looked past it. And the Penguins gave a nebulous, noncommittal response to the report, so most people simply figured that everything was fine and going according to schedule.
That’s all change. It has been revealed that when reaching the 90% exertion level, the concussion symptoms returned. And some concussion specialists say that means he has to start back at square one.
We can only be sure of one thing: the recovery hasn’t been smooth sailing. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that being held out for the second half of the season and taking it easy during the offseason isn’t going to be enough to get Crosby healthy. And not only is the beginning of the season in doubt, the entire season may be in doubt. The Penguins have to make serious considerations about life without Crosby for this season. And fortunately for the Penguins, their window isn’t closing after this season and only a few contracts are up at the end of the season. So even if Crosby is shut down the rest of the season, I don’t see the Penguins making a drastic move to bring someone in at the expense of promising young players and draft picks. And if worst comes to worst, they can always put him on the LTIR and free up a ton of cap space for a player or two.
Many picked the Penguins to win the Atlantic, but with Crosby’s season in question, it opens up the door for the Devils, Flyers, and Rangers to stake a claim. The Penguins were a solid team without Crosby last season, but Crosby is the Penguins and they’ll go as far as he takes them. I’m not saying that the Penguins will be a bad team this year, but with a hot and cold Malkin and not much in terms of top six forward material outside of a few players, Pittsburgh has to really hope that the defense and Marc-Andre Fleury can carry the team like they did last season.
You just have to be patient with Crosby. It’s not out of the question that a player would miss an entire season after a concussion. David Perron of the St. Louis Blues played 10 games last season before he was sidelined with a concussion. And he still has yet to be cleared for activity.