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Columnist says Sidney Crosby should consider retirement

Dec 15, 2011, 9:07 AM EDT

Sidney Crosby AP

Congratulations to Howard Berger for writing the first “Sidney Crosby should consider retirement” column since the Penguins’ superstar was forced to sit out again. You knew that someone was going to pen a column like this; it was just a matter of who would do it.

Berger’s reasons why Crosby should think about doing it, however, are inspired by Eric Lindros. After all, Lindros’ career came to a premature end because of continued concussion problems that turned him from a physical monster on the ice to a shell of his former MVP-winning self.

Berger says it’s inevitable that Crosby will continue to have problems with concussions, but while there’s a possibility that it could happen, comparing him with Lindros preemptively is foolish.

Back when Lindros played, concussions weren’t treated the same way they are now. Even in the mid-90s, guys would shrug concussions off and come back well before their brains were actually ready for action. Nowadays you only see that sort of thing happen in the NFL. Well… For the most part, anyhow.

The concussion protocols and the extreme amount of care the Penguins are putting into Crosby’s treatment are the sorts of things that Lindros wishes he had when he was playing. Had he been better taken care of his career may have lasted a bit longer and the debate over whether he’s worthy of the Hall of Fame wouldn’t be necessary.

Asking Crosby to consider retirement at this point is fear mongering on a hot button topic at in its most basic form. Crosby isn’t about to give up the game after a setback like this.

  1. me6661973 - Dec 15, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Hope he does so people get out his crack! Hurt crybaby go spent your millions Pens wasted on you and laugh! Let get back to Active scoring players! What up with leading goal scorer now?

    • jamawl - Dec 15, 2011 at 9:23 AM

      Yeah let’s stop talking about a guy that has the potential to be one of the greatest hockey players of all time.

      What’s up with the leading goal scorer now? He’s out with a concussion as well. The topic’s not going away anytime soon so grow up, man.

    • pens919209 - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:03 AM

      @me6661973 –

      You must spend a lot of your time hanging out with Pat Hickey and John Steigerwald.

      To back up jamawl’s point: look around the league – Milan Michalek, Kris Letang, Claude Giroux, Crosby, Marc Savard, Guillaume Latendresse, and a several more players have been or are being affected by concussion and concussion-like symptoms. Should we get out of their ‘cracks’ too? Call them crybabies? Bully them back into potentially ruining their lives just to squeeze a year or two of hockey out of them? Get real.

      • miketoasty - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:20 AM

        Just to add to your list, a few more star players with or who recently had concussions:

        Chris Pronger
        Jeff Skinner
        Mike Richards
        Jay Beagle
        Nino Niederreiter
        Zbynek Michalek
        Roberto Bortuzzo
        Marc Staal
        Ryan Miller
        James Reimer
        Joni Pitkanen
        Andy McDonald
        Brayden Schenn

    • danphipps01 - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:18 AM

      Welp, last I checked, he was *also* out with a concussion. Hurt crybaby Giroux, hurt crybaby Michalek… oh, wait, blaming the victim and making light of concussions is fucking retarded. As jamawl said: grow up.

    • hockeyfan1701 - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:28 AM

      As always a high class 1st grade English type post me66619173, keep up the good work. Keep striving and someday you can type something intelligent and meaningful.

    • digitalmick - Dec 28, 2011 at 8:29 PM

      Sure, that just like saying that every hockey player good or bad after a concussion should retire.
      a. that would be good for all the juniors coming into the NHL, of course, if you can get there without sustaining a concussion.
      b. go with the no fighting, no touching rules that people want to put in effect in hockey, basically shutting the game down.
      c. just let these guys heal like they should and get them back out on the ice when they feel 100% and can return.

      I for one would hate to see Crosby retire. But if it was best for his health, and was a decision he made, basically letting him call the shots on his career, then so be it. There is sure to be another up and coming superstar to enter the NHL. Of course, theres always Ovie, but i’d rather not cheer for the Washington Capitals out of spite.

  2. bostonhasrealhockey - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    Sids great for the game it would be a real shame if a conussion has deprived another great player of completing his career. And all this play hurt hes soft or hes taking millions and running is absolute crap. Im embarrassed you are a fan of the same sport as I am.

    • abrienza428 - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      The big question is what happens this summer if he doesn’t come back for good. It’ll be time to re-negotiate his contract. How much will he demand and will the Penguins pay it?

  3. nhlbruins90 - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    This sort of talk is inevitable, I guess, but very premature. Somebody was going to write this type of column because it’s just too easy. Easy and lame.

    Nobody knows what the course of Crosby’s health will be, nor what the best path to take will be. Crosby and his doctors are in the best position to guess, and they’re certainly not talking to us about it. Only time will tell, and that time isn’t here yet (as opposed to say, Savard, where it seemed obvious to almost everyone).

    • govtminion - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:23 AM

      Well, even with Savard, when he finally did come back it looked like he’d be able to return to normal at first, the same way Bergeron did before him. And by ‘come back’, I mean the playoffs against Philadelphia, not the pale shadow of himself that he was when he tried about a year ago. Scary thing is, I don’t recall him having concussion issues before the Cooke hit (not to say he didn’t- just that I don’t recall it). One big one CAN end a career- Adam Deadmarsh, for example. Let’s hope that isn’t the case here.

      • nhlbruins90 - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        Yeah, Savard looked good initially. Horton’s comeback is pretty amazing considering the brutal hit he took. So many unknowns when it comes to concussions.

    • hystoracle - Dec 15, 2011 at 10:37 AM

      Agree it is premature, but it is a legitimate concern that his track record with concussions may lead to that. He missed three qtrs of a year with concussion problems. Then played his first real physical contest and has been out since with similar symptoms (though not as severe reportedly). Both the hits they are attributing to his taking it cautious this time he initiated. Savard was good for a couple months until he got a blown up by Cooke.. Now he’s probably done. Only takes one goon to take a cheap shot to end Sid’s career at this point. Doesn’t really have to be much of a hit.

  4. lsxphotog - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    When you play at his level of intensity, you’re going to get hurt. Once you have a concussion you’re more susceptible to repeat it. Sad to say, but there is a good chance Sid the Kid will have to perch back and become an assist machine and stop trying to take control and be physical.

    • jpelle82 - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:12 AM

      yeah thats tough though…thats like telling peyton manning he has to throw from outside the pocket only from now on. just wont be the same guy

      • cmutimmah - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:32 AM

        With Indy’s offensive line, we might find out if he has to do that.

        Crosby will be fine. The caution he’s showing is the new way of handling these things. Back in the day, he’d be on the ice, no questions asked.

  5. pastabelly - Dec 15, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    He’s not married and has no children. Someday he may want to be a dad and not one who has neuroligcal problems. If playing more hockey means he is risking any damage to his brain, he should seriously consider retirement. He’s already achieved all there is in the NHL from a personal, team, and economic perspective.

  6. rarebarbarians - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    The problem with sports today is mankind has outgrown these physical sports. We are faster, bigger, and stronger than when Hockey, and Football first started. The main problem is we can’t strengthen our joints like our knees, shoulders, and elbows, nor can we strengthen our skulls, there for as long as we continue to get bigger stronger and faster we will always have concussions, and blown out knees it’s inevitable. For football and hockey someone needs to come out with a helmet that can reduce the concussions we are having like Mark Messier is trying to do.

  7. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    He’s not having concussion problems right now per se, he’s just being extra cautious. From what I’ve heard tests have been administered to him that would indicate whether or not he still has symptoms and he doesn’t have any. He just wants to make sure he’s at 110% before he gets back to game action

  8. sgtr0c - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Your reason not to believe his view is no better then his reason to make Sid C to think about retiring. I believe every pro Athlete knows and thinks about retirement day. Like saying he should consider the money….Dumb story

  9. richie500 - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    I thought hockey was on the come as becoming a very popular sport in the US.
    But how can you showcase how great the game is with, not just Crosby, all these other stars out of the line ups.
    Something has to be done?
    Bigger ice rinks?
    I’ve heard some ex players say the elbow pads are way to hard?
    Lack of respect for other players?
    Any suggestions?

  10. pastabelly - Dec 15, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Hmmm, I just saw Ryan Miller’s list on someone’s concussion list. There is no evidence that he was concussed.

    I wonder if Yerdon (writer of this blog) would have a problem with Marc Savard retiring. I wonder if it’s different because fans don’t want to be robbed of seeing Crosby. Unfortunately, this can happen by choice or not by choice. Bobby Orr’s knees went before he hit 30. At least he has lived a good life (even though he was the biggest victim of Alan Eagleson). Crosby won’t be able to live a good life with neurological problems. Yerdon, it’s easy to be selfish when it’s not you who is at risk. If Crosby determines that he is under no threat of serious brain damage, then that’s his call.

  11. haterzgonahate - Dec 15, 2011 at 3:07 PM

    title of this story should read

    “Columnist looking for attention.. makes bogus remarks about Crosby”

  12. pdmjr - Dec 15, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    Bigger,stronger, faster men play this game. The body armor is is like what they used in the movie Rollerball with James Caan.

    Lack of respect is more noticeable than in the past.

    Bigger rinks? Maybe.

    More penalties? Yeah minimum 5 game suspensions and 100K fines to the teams

    Too many concussed players and most of them are the stars, lets go Bettman be a leader

    • wheresdapuck - Dec 17, 2011 at 11:27 AM

      Ovi is takes and gives hits equally and while he has been injuried, he still plays!

  13. goforthanddie - Dec 15, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    He was out for a year w/ a concussion. He came back and couldn’t make it a month. Sounds like he needs to consider it long and hard.

    • wheresdapuck - Dec 17, 2011 at 11:25 AM


  14. wheresdapuck - Dec 17, 2011 at 11:24 AM

    Most of the hockey experts (while not saying on camera) already have Crosby in retired status. He has proven in the few games he played in this year that HE CANNOT TAKE A HIT! So he might as well retire, or just stay on IR and collect a paycheck!

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