Beginning of the End

It pains me to write what I am about to write. I wish I didn’t believe it but, right now, it’s hard to think any differently. All the signs, signals, indicators, compass’ and whatever other device you have are leading me in this direction. I have tried to convince myself this can’t be true but what else am I to believe?

Sidney Crosby is finished.

Extreme words, I know. However, Sidney Crosby is out again after what, at the most, can be classified as a soft elbow to the head from David Krejci. Watch for yourself here (skip to 1:11 for slow motion). It’s possible the first time watch the video you won’t even notice the hit. The hit occurs a few seconds into the video but it is rather inconspicuous.

Once again, Sid the Kid is day-to-day with his concussion-like symptoms but not the day-to-day that we normally associate with injuries. His status as day-to-day refers to the media’s coverage of his status, wondering when Crosby will be back on the ice. Sadly, Sidney Crosby is out indefinitely and, although he insists that he is not back at square one, you have to wonder if this last hit has put him on the Eric Lindros road of perpetual concussions.

Crosby took 11 months off. Like a Dad crossing the street with his 3-year-old child, he decided to play it really safe instead of being really sorry. I repeat, he played it really safe. Unlike the first hit from Dave Steckel that should have put him out, Crosby didn’t want to play with fire this time. In the end though, it only took a minor hit from David Krejci to put him on the shelf. This wasn’t your Scott Stevens on Eric Lindros garbage. This was peewee minor hockey stuff.

This isn’t a movie either. What doesn’t kill Sidney Crosby isn’t going to make him stronger. Each subsequent concussion makes Crosby more fragile than the Dallas Cowboys in the 4th quarter. By now it’s common knowledge to sports fans that if you’ve had one concussion, you are much more likely to have another. At the same time, it’s supposed to take more than what Krejci did to Crosby. Sid is only 24 and is already having to deal with more serious concussion issues.

Related: NHL Needs Sid the Kid

Is Crosby more prone to concussions than others? Is Crosby simply the recipient of some old fashioned bad luck?

Apparently, I’m not a doctor, as one individual was kind enough point out to me in e-mail form following one of my post’s inquiries into the nature of Ryan Kesler’s injury prior to last year’s Stanley Cup Finals. Nevertheless, common sense can tell you a lot of what you need to know sometimes. My common sense this year is telling me that Sidney Crosby is never going to be the same.

This is one of the few instances where I hope I’m not right.

I have no idea what Sidney Crosby’s doctors are telling him but the fact that he is back up in the press box watching games and sitting out of practice is as bad a sign as it gets. What’s even worse is that we are hearing the same thing coming out of Crosby’s and head coach Dan Bylsma’s mouth. According to Sid, “there is no timetable” for his return. According to Bylsma, “Sid knows his body better than anybody else” and “He’ll return to practice and playing when he is feeling 100 percent.”

100 percent took 11 months last time around.

This time around, before you can say post-concussion symptoms, the best thing that has happened to hockey since Mario Lemieux could be out of the game altogether . Unfortunately, this might be the beginning of the end for Sidney Crosby.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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10 Responses to Beginning of the End

  1. Jsportsfan says:

    I’m afraid you’re right. If such a “soft” hit puts Crosby on the shelf who knows what would have happened if he takes a crushing hit from a Dion Phaneuf or Zdeno Chara! It is a sad time in the NHL.

  2. cordaro9418 says:

    It’s not a sad time in the NHL, it’s a transition. Technology has caught up to the injuries.

    Sid is great for the NHL, a bridge to the greatness of the Great One, Super Mario, et al, BUT let me ask this…. with no offense to Sidney Crosby or even Patrice Bergeron (multiple concussions) and Marc Savard (never expected to play again due to a concussion) of my own Bruins… but what the hell did a player 20 years ago, 40 years ago or 80 years ago do?

    Helmets weren’t a mandatory item until the 1980’s (remember Craig MacTavish flyin around in the early 1990’s with no dome?) and the pre-historic goalies didn’t even wear helmets, they just took a Rocket Richard slapper off the nugget with a leather face shield at best.

    Todays players wear ‘body armor’, literally, compared to the older guys, yet they’re dropping like a house of cards. Is it that the sport has evolved sideways with technology? No protection meant a rough, ragged yet honorable neanderthal player while kevlar and face-shields have created a faster, more mobile deadly weapon who can strike with greater precision? I equate it to the common ‘indestructibility’ complex of a teenager…. with this much protection, what damge can be done?

    Headshots aren’t coming out of the game. Goalies aren’t going to be catered to like Ryan Miller would like and no matter how long and hard the history of finesse Superstars complain, the game gets faster, the players bigger and the armor more lightweight and durable…. how do you regulate that?

    Suspension and fines for intentional hits, reckless play and possible intent to injure will curb THOSE aspects, but taking hits along the boards, in the corners and in the open ice will happen. How many of those Golden Age players took numerous concussions and kept going? How many died prematurely as a result? How many from as recently as the 80’s were feeling the effects of a concussion and didn’t even realize it? Is it the technology to diagnose it that sets Crosby apart from let’s say a Cam Neely or Terry O’Rielly (two Bruins who you know took as many head shots as they gave). Would Scott Stevens be outlawed from todays game, labeled as a head-hunter?

    I’ve suffered ‘numerous’ concussions, three higher-grade concussions which required longer monitored care, through sporting incidents and otherwise… it’s not fun. The effects can be slow in onset, slow to subside and have lasting effect. But even knowing what I do and having felt the physical and mental effects…. I’d not change a thing about the game.

    I feel Sid will return this season, but either way, perhaps he will change the game in more ways than just scoring goals can do.

  3. JW says:

    Really, the NHL has the same problem the NFL does. The players have become bigger, stronger, and faster, all factors directly proportional to the amount of damage they can do to each other.

    What this all comes down to in these leagues must get serious about protecting the players. As badly as Roger Goodell is going about it, at least he understands the financial viability of the league hinges on its stars. Imagine the fallout that would occur if for some reason some sort of cheap shot ended the career of the NFL’s current hottest star (don’t make me say it) on Sunday?

    Think about what a PR disaster that would be for the league…

    Ask yourself this – what happens if somebody gets killed? Not to be cruel, but I don’t mean some 2nd string guy…what if a marquee player dies on the field/ice?

  4. tophatal says:


    If Sidney Crosby goes down then here endeth the NHL in terms of heightened interest . How’d you think the Browns feel now concerning Colt McCoy and the idiocy of the front office staff and the coaches there concerning his issues ?

    McCoy had a concussion but they didn’t know it ? What type of medical staff does the organization possess ? LMFAO on the other hand are sexy and they know it .

    Scott Boras agent for Prince Fielder wants Pujols’ ” type money ” for his client . The question is , will there be a team out there willing to make that type of a commitment ? Your thoughts ?

    tophatal ……..

  5. CR…

    As you very well know, I’m a fringe NFL fan at best, and that’s only because I live in a town with a pretty decent (yet currently underachieving) hockey team.

    I understand the importance of Crosby’s marketability to the success of the NHL, however, I’m not sure I’m going to a hockey game to see one player, as I would for an NBA game.

    If I go to see the Lightning play “an opponent,” it’s going to be because it’s the Red Wings or Flyers or Rangers, not because I’m going to see one guy in particular.

    Losing Crosby is most certainly a blow but hey, it’s not like anyone’s watching the NHL anyway.

  6. brief22 says:

    This is a shame, as Crosby is the best player in the NHL. Period. It is sad to see this unfold, because he means so much to hockey.

  7. brief22 says:

    If he can return this season, then the NHL execs should be thrilled because he is the face of the NHL, and as we know with Peyton Manning, when that happens, it’s not good.

  8. I have to admit i’m likely to agree in principle with what you have said here, it’s a shame someone so talented has become so fragile, but such is the beast of the sport, it’s a tough game and even strong atheletes have their bad seasons.

    Having watched a few televised games this season, I’ve actually been more impressed with Evgeni Malkin, don’t get me wrong i’m sure Sid the Kid is aces and its bad for the NHL if he’s missing but my focus has always been on those actually playing well rather than those showing promise from the press box.

    It seems the Pens are likely to allow Sidney all the time he needs to recover, all this going on while Malkin continues to carry the Penguins offensively. It will be interesting to see how Long Crosby takes this time given the last stint was 11 months.

  9. The only thing I can say is I hope not. I fear that you’re correct, it would really be a shame, as I think Crosby could become better than Lemiux, maybe even in the same level as Gretzky.

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