By Andy Dunk, NHL Hockey Writer
With the NHL playoffs just around the corner, one of the NHL’s biggest stars finds himself on the outside looking in. A year ago, Sidney Crosby was on top of the world. He had scored the game winning goal in overtime of the gold medal game and was fresh off a Stanley Cup victory.
This year lady luck has not been on Crosby ’s side….
The NFL is not the only sport dealing with concussion issues. Crosby, the game’s biggest star, (yes bigger than Alexander Ovechkin) has not played since January after suffering two violent head injuries on back to back nights. This cut short what looked to be a historic year for the Penguins’ forward. Yet, the Penguins have still thrived even in the absence of Crosby and fellow star Evgeni Malkin, who is out for the season with a knee injury. With his team set to embark on a playoff journey, pressure is on Crosby to make a monumental return. While returning to the ice last week, Crosby has still not been cleared for contact and his playoff status is up in the air. Personally, I can’t believe that this is even the case. If the Penguins front office allows Crosby to return to the ice this season they are making an unforgivable mistake. At age 23, Crosby is in the prime of his career and still could have his best years ahead of him. With the intensity and ferocity only picking up in the playoffs, do the Penguins really want to mortgage the future for one cup run?
Now some readers may point out Aaron Rodger’s situation this year and his concussion issues. Rodgers suffered two reported concussions this year and many believe that he suffered a third when hit by Julius Peppers. The Packers did go on to win a Super Bowl and some may argue that this could happen with the Penguins. But fans need to look at the other side of the spectrum.
Look at what happened to a hockey player like Eric Lindros, a former star once projected to be one of the game’s greatest only to be slowed by eight concussions. Do we really want to see this happen to another star? As a competitor, Crosby will do what it takes to support his teammates and get back on the ice as soon as possible. The Penguins staff needs to do the right thing and make sure that this does not happen.