Don’t Play Overseas Sid


Jun 7, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) prepares to take a face off against the Boston bruins in the second period in game four of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the site for the 2011 NHL Winter Classic game fought between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals.

Losing 2-1 with roughly 15 seconds left in the 2nd period, the Penguins turned the puck over in the Capitals zone.  As Washington forward David Steckel scampered for the loose puck, he blindsided Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby doing so.  Pittsburgh finished the period down in the scoring column.

Crosby stayed down.

Although he was able to skate gingerly back to the bench, the hit proved to be “crushing” for the organization and its fans.  The Captain was out essentially the rest of that year due to a vexatious concussion/vertebrae injury.  And while there’s still a little debate as to when Crosby sustained the injury (Victor Hedman’s hit the following game), many believe Steckel’s hit was the beginning.   Who’s hit was the catalyst?  Pens nation was just wondering when they’d ever see Crosby again.

Hockey players are going to get hurt.  But for Crosby, he’s already endured a handful of injuries during his short stay in the NHL.  If fans recall, during the 2006-2007 season, he played the final month with a broken bone in his left foot that was suffered from previously blocking a shot on goal.  After sliding into the boards awkwardly, Crosby missed 21 games in the 2007-2008 season due to a severe high ankle sprain.  And had it not been Game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals, one could bet that Crosby’s knee would’ve shelved him, after Johan Franzen pinned him a little over six minutes into the 2nd period.

Now this isn’t to say this couldn’t have happened to any player–because it most certainly could have, and has.  Injuries are part of the physicality the game exhibits night in and night out.  In fact, the NHL had a big problem with most specifically concussions last season.  So Crosby wasn’t the only star to fall victim to a frustratingly, season-eating head injury.  Jonathan Toews, Claude Giroux, Ryan Miller and Daniel Sedin–to name a few–sustained concussion injuries that sat them each out for a while.  The only difference being, was that Crosby’s probably took longer to heal than the others.  And that was due in part of an alleged incorrect diagnosis, which sequentially led to a new medical crew for the organization.

But Crosby is the best player in the world–period.  And you want to protect him at all costs.  It has been reported, and come to my attention, that Crosby is now considering playing over in either Russia’s KHL or Switzerland during this arduous NHL lockout.

One word–frightening.

He can go and play overseas, there’s nothing against the rules saying he can’t.  But the mere thought of Crosby playing anywhere other than with the Penguins is hard to imagine.  And given Crosby’s past history with injuries, Pens nation is cringing, and hoping that if he does choose to do so that he comes back to the organization in one piece.  It’s bad enough Crosby has already lost roughly two years, it’d be a shame if he missed the rest of his 12-year contract he signed this past June.

Every player needs to play in games to stay competitively sound, physically fit and dangerously dexterous.  So if the lockout continues to drag on, fans can more than likely start guessing as to when Crosby will make his move.  I think I can speak for the fans when I say we hope you stay Sid.

Or just promise us you’ll be back in a Pens sweater–healthy as can be.