For the Last couple of weeks, there has been a great deal of talk about Sidney Crosby’s Future. In order to talk about his future, I think it would be important to talk a little about his past.
As a rookie in the NHL, he scored 102 points, with 63 assists making him the youngest player in NHL history to score 100 points. That season was a transition year for the Pens, they lost Lemieux to an irregular heartbeat which ended his incredible but injury/disease plagued career. That was also Craig Patrick’s last season as GM, and they fired Eddie Olczyk as coach also.
The following season under new Coach Michel Therrien and New GM Ray Shero, Sidney put together an amazing sophmore campaign, if you consider the only one to put up numbers like that at that age prior to him was the Great One. Sid finished the season with a League Leading 120 points, 36 goals and 84 assists. Crosby won the Art Ross Trophy(NHL POINT LEADER), The Hart Trophy(League MVP), and the Lester B Pearson Trophy as the Leagues Most Outstanding Player. He also helped guide his team to the playoffs for the first time since 01′.
In the 2008-2009 season, he led the Pens to the Stanley Cup Finals, only to lose to the Red Wings in 6 games. They learned from their mistakes, and Beat the Detroit Red Wings the following year in a 7 game battle to win the Stanley Cup for the first time since Lemieux led his team to back to back Cup wins in 1991′ and1992′. During that season for Crosby, he also tied for the Rocket Richard Trophy with Stephen Stamkos as league leader for goals.
In International Hockey, Crosby had represented his home country of Canada in about every Hockey Event he could, winning Medals and Awards along the way. Sid was able to cap that off with a Gold Medal in the the 2010 Olympics, scoring the goal that won the Gold Medal for his country. Doesn’t really get any better than that does it? Oh yes, as I mentioned, that was the same year, he led the Pens to the Stanley Cup and won. What a year.
In his 2010-2011 campaign, he was off to the races, scoring goals at a ridiculous pace proving again that he was the “Undisputed” Best Player in Hockey. Then, mid way through the season, it happened. The Concussions. These head injuries have completely derailed his career since that point. He came back for an 8 game stint this season showing glimpses of what could be and or what could have been. Then, he was hit again, and the symptoms came back. He has not been seen, nor heard from since, except for a brief media event after a practice when he announce that he hoped this current situation would not last for a 7 or 8 month period like the last one.
That leads me to now. As mentioned, you really can not talk about a guys future unless you can see what he did in his past. I did not mention all his glory days and numbers in Junior’s, but if you would like to see them…Click Here. There has been major talk around the city, and it was brought up again on a local talk show about Sid calling it quits. He has not announced that, nor has he stated that that is his plan. But the further we get along with this, the more apparent it is becoming that his future is in some jeopardy. So, lets say, he came out tomorrow and said….”I am retiring”.
This could be the legacy he leaves us with.
1) Youngest Rookie to Score 100 points
2) Winner of the Art Ross, The Hart, The Rocket Richard, and the Pearson Award just to name a few.
3) Youngest player to win a scoring title.
4) He has been in 2 Stanley Cup Finals, and won 1.
5) Youngest Captain to lead his team to a Stanley Cup Championship and Win.
6) Led Team Canada to a Gold Medal in the 2010 Olympic Games, and Scored the Gold Medal Winning Goal.
I really could go on, but you get my point. He has had an amazing career, and he is only 24. It would be a huge blow to not only Pittsburgh, but also the NHL if he were to walk away now, but with this much accomplished…What else is left?The all time scoring title, yes that would be great, but his health is an issue and one that will probably hold him back from accomplishing this goal.
Sid is a competitor like no other. He, I am sure, is not even considering retiring at this point. But, when you consider the long term affect of Brain Injuries, and what other problems can occur if he continues to play and continues to get concussions. It’s not worth it. I want him to play, the city wants him to play, the league wants him to play and most of all, he wants to play. But at some point, you half to wonder… is it really worth it?