Pittsburgh Penguins Need New Medical Staff


Over the last few seasons the Pittsburgh Penguins have dealt with more injuries than any other team in the NHL. This season has started off no different as the Penguins are already at 85 man games lost only thirty games into the season. This pace of injuries puts them well below their absurd 529 man games lost last season. However, many skaters continue to fall to injuries. The Pittsburgh Penguins presently have eighteen forwards and nine defensemen on their NHL roster.

Brief History Of Pittsburgh Penguins Medical Staff

Back in 2012 right the Penguins dealt with a slew of injuries to stars Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby (neck and concussions). This prompted the Pittsburgh Penguins to fire their entire medical staff on July 20th of 2012.

After the firing the Penguins brought Dr. Dharmesh Vyas in to be the head physician and brought in a fresh new staff. In the first season under the new staff there was a massive improvement and the Pittsburgh Penguins went from 355 man games lost in the 2011-2012 season to a mere 78 man games lost in the shortened 2012-2013 season. This means if the season was a full 82 games the Pittsburgh Penguins would have been around 130 man games lost. Obviously, you cannot predict injuries but this is just based upon the rate of man games lost for a comparison.

Last season (2013-2014) the Pittsburgh Penguins dealt with an outrageous 523 man games lost to injuries. So after the strong start the medical staff regressed in their second season. While injuries are not solely the fault of the medical staff, that is how they are judged.

One can argue that games lost to injuries should be the method of judging the success of a medical staff. I will not argue either way, I have presented the facts about the perceived performance of the staff thus far.

2014-2015 Season

So far as previously mentioned the Pittsburgh Penguins have lost 85 man games to injuries and that number will climb in the near future. Regardless of the numbers the Pittsburgh Penguins medical staff made a gigantic blunder this season.

With the current outbreak of mumps in the NHL you would think the Penguins medical team would be on high alert. There was obviously something wrong with Sidney Crosby as shown in the photo. Yet the medical team publicly stated they had tested Crosby and all results were negative. A few days later they announce that Sidney Crosby actually did have mumps and is being treated. Due to their mistake another Pittsburgh Penguin, Beau Bennett, potentially has mumps and the entire team was exposed to the illness when Crosby was still allowed to practice. Additionally, they cleared Crosby to play after the initial tests came back negative.

The combination of the mumps outbreak and Sidney Crosby being the face of the Penguins (and the NHL) should be enough merit for the Pittsburgh Penguins to consider bringing in a different medical team. Star players need to be cared for and when a player’s face looks like a balloon on one side, it should be a clear indication he is not healthy.

This mistake was gigantic and it seems no one seems to care. If the Penguins do not see fit to change medical staff they at the very minimum need to reevaluate their medical procedures.