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Columnist: Sidney Crosby’s “doomsday clock is ticking”

Jan 16, 2012, 8:45 PM EST

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Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby‘s year-plus struggle with concussion issues has taken a few big turns for the worse, particularly in the short-term. With the most visible NHL player hitting another disconcerting wall, the Vancouver Sun’s Cam Cole wonders if his “doomsday clock is ticking.”

Well, if doomsday means not being quite the same player as he once was:

Crosby, we hope, has much more to give hockey, and in a perfect world, the concussion woes never return after he’s shaken this latest nightmare.

But it doesn’t take much imagination to envision a different picture, of a diminished, cautious Crosby returning whenever he decides he’s able, but never again quite as recklessly exuberant and commanding on the ice as Sid The Kid used to be before the shadow descended.

However it turns out, whenever and in whatever form he comes back, he will never be that kid again.

It’s reasonable to worry about Crosby at this point, especially when you think about the fact that he earned many of his goals by going to the “dirty areas” of the ice.

A parallel in patiencesource: Getty Images

Yet if you’re looking for an example for optimism, perhaps Crosby’s path has some parallels to a similar one traveled by his buddy Patrice Bergeron. Much like Crosby, Bergeron accomplished a lot (albeit not as much, naturally) at a young age. Concussions derailed his career for at least a season, however, and it generally seems like the Boston Bruins forward been through a heck of a lot for a guy who’s just 26 years old.

(In fact, many hockey fans will utter a similar refrain with Bergeron: “He’s just 26?“)

Now, some might see Bergeron as a two-time 70+ point player turned 50+ point guy, but he’s become one of the league’s best two-way forwards. Maybe he’s not exactly the same player who scored more points on teams that asked more of him, but he’s back to being a high-level contributor. Some might even say he morphed into a better player in the big picture.

It just didn’t happen right away.

So feel free to worry a bit about Crosby’s health – it’s reasonable to wonder – but don’t forget that the increasingly rapid news cycle has a way of making this problem seem that much worse. This ordeal began on Jan. 1, 2011, after all.

In other words, at 24 years old, it’s probably a little hasty to claim that his ceiling will be forever lowered.

  1. eagleswineagleswin - Jan 16, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    hahahaha hope he never plays again.

    Hilarious!

    – Flyers Fan

    • somekat - Jan 16, 2012 at 9:27 PM

      You are an idiot

      – Flyers Fan

      Any real flyers fan would want a cup because we went through Crosby, not because he stopped playing due to injury.

      Here’s hoping he comes back 100% (although at this point, I’d say it is unlikely)

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 16, 2012 at 9:31 PM

        You can call yourself a Flyers fan, but don’t you dare try to call yourself a hockey fan. No real hockey fan wants to see the best player of a generation have his career cut short by injuries.

    • emoser - Jan 16, 2012 at 10:53 PM

      Nice fake account. You’re an embarrassment to whatever team you actually root for.

      • cshearing - Jan 17, 2012 at 8:49 AM

        Not fake. I see him shouting about the Eagles on PFT all the time. He is a Flyer fan; I know it is embarrassing.

    • michiganhockey11 - Jan 17, 2012 at 1:50 PM

      hahahaha hope he never plays again.

      Hilarious!

      – Flyers Fan

      *spoken like a true idiot flyers fan. I only hope there are real fans out there in Philly…

      • thefalloficarus84 - Jan 18, 2012 at 8:28 PM

        there are…
        and as somecat suggested, I’d have much rather faced a healthy crosby and won. I think anyone here would admit, seeing him going up against giroux would’ve been entertaining at least.

        Not gonna lie, I hated the kid while he was playing…rivalries and all. Still, having it end on a note like this just leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Here’s hoping for a full recovery!

    • djamesbart - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:40 PM

      Read the news about your team today?
      It made me smile.

  2. Stiller43 - Jan 16, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    Eagleswineagleswin,

    Im sure everyones proud to call you a fellow member of the human race.

    Signed,
    Youre a piece of trash.

  3. kantnockdahustle89 - Jan 16, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    As a Caps fan this sucks. As much as I hate Crosby for almost everything he does, he makes the NHL better. Lets not forget its must watch TV when him and Ovechkin get together. It is a good point to bring up Bergeron. Crosby is still young and can take some time until he comes back.

    • bcjim - Jan 16, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      Agree.

  4. danphipps01 - Jan 16, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    Aye, Bergeron’s an astute comparison in some regards, but Sid’s missed significant chunks of time in MOST of his seasons to this point. That’s the difference here – Bergeron’s not injury-prone to begin with. He was just unlucky. With Sid, even something like the Krejci hit can kick things off again. He was out for how many months? How long did they take trying to be absolutely sure about his recovery, and then two weeks in, bam, he’s gone on a minor hit. Hard, but ultimately minor. Crosby, troublingly, has a pattern of getting jurt more easily than many, if not most of his contemporaries. That’s what sets the two apart. Crosby, for all his glory, may just be too easy to hurt. Wouldn’t be the first time a player’s been like that. The concussions didn’t set it off – but now that he’s received at least two inside just a year… well, it’s hard not to look at his history and worry about the future.

    • Jeff Thomas - Jan 17, 2012 at 7:44 AM

      He’s missed significant time this season and last for the concussion and one other season for a high ankle sprain. Maybe you realize that and it fits for definition of injury prone, but I wouldn’t have put that label in him until now.

  5. blomfeld - Jan 16, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    The Doomsday Clock is ticking alright ..

    only problem is, it’s not ticking towards Crosby … it’s ticking towards the eradication of the game as we know it today ! … we have the same rink dimensions as we had back in 1890 (ie: 200 x 80 feet) and yet the players have increased exponentially in terms of size, speed and strength … any grade 8 physics class will tell you that given fixed parameters, increasing inputs over time can only lead to ultimate conflict !

    • somekat - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:31 AM

      Eh. There were always big guys playing, and they got a way with more back in the day than they do now

      2 differences. 1, and this can’t be discounted, awareness of things like concussions. 20 years ago, a guy just got his “bell rung”, and was expected to get back out there. 2, no red line/2 line pass rule. The red line was a barrier to slow the game/players down. The extra touch changes the flow of the game completely. But to increase scoring and get rid of the trap (something I think could of been done by calling the actual rules, instead of just saying “we’re not gonna call 20 interference penalties, so we’ll let it go”, call 20 penalties, see how long the system lasts), and in doing so dramatically increased the speed/risk

  6. farvefromover - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    To the guy with the first comment, what have the eagles won? You are probably from Camden, NJ not even Philly.

  7. pittsburghpoonslayer - Jan 17, 2012 at 6:13 AM

    philidelphia is a peice of shit town with no real sports team.

    • somekat - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      Yeah, pittsburgh is the biggest shit whole of a city I’ve ever been to outside of Cleveland, tha

    • somekat - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      Yeah, pittsburgh is the biggest shit whole of a city I’ve ever been to outside of Cleveland, tha

    • somekat - Jan 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM

      Yeah, pittsburgh is the biggest shit whole of a city I’ve ever been to outside of Cleveland, thanks though

  8. flyersfandave - Jan 17, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    You are as big of a douche as the first guy! What the F does where you are from have to do with any of this. It’s a damn shame such a good hockey player may never play again. You can dislike Crosby personally or hate the league for using him as a tool but you can’t deny skill.

  9. kingjoe1 - Jan 17, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    If he thinks he is going to be perfect for the rest of his life he is out of his mind. He either has to man up and play through his minor issues or he has to retire. He acts like he is the first person to have a concussion. You can be damn sure if his contract wasnt guaranteed, he would be out there.

    • har21441 - Jan 17, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Sure – risk turning the rest of your life into a drooling, mumbling nightmare so that you can add to the millions that you already have. He’s 24 – nothing wrong with doing the right thing for him at this point.

    • wschopp - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:16 AM

      Man up?! Have you ever had a concussion? They are the most difficult injuries to have because of their unpredictability. You yourself probably have brain damage from falling while drunk, you probably have never moved your ass at the speed NHL players do. He has a brain injury that affects balance and mobility, and being a hockey player, those are the 2 most important things to master for you to play. He isn’t playing this up or fragile, he got hit by 2 large men in consecutive games to his head. He finished the WC even though he wasn’t 100% but couldn’t finish the next game he was hit in. This isn’t about money either, he already has more than enough to not worry and can easily be paid double what he gets now. One can argue that if Ovie can get $12M/yr for being mediocre, Crosby can get $15-20M/yr for being the best in the game. Stop questioning his character, he has already accomplished more in hockey at 24 than any player since Gretzky. It only makes sense for him to be cautious and not be a vegetable when he is older, he is only 24 years old.

  10. jonniebolonie - Jan 18, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    to somkat is that like pussy? you philthy fans stink worse than sewer festered scum curdle! you know sid is the best thats why your so jealous! look it is a shame he can’t play but i have to wonder
    if this is his last hoorah. gosh i hope not but it seems that he is a little fragile for the nhl i love the penguins there was no better than mario l. oh by the way pussy oh i mean somkat, what a sissy name, arn’t you glad this is not in person so you can appear to have a come-back. bet he takes a while to make a comment, thats if that gutless sewer fester scum curdle can even make a remark
    i hate dallass, philthydelphia, baltihore.

    • wschopp - Jan 19, 2012 at 4:19 AM

      Well even Philly gave Lemieux a standing O because they couldnt even deny his greatness. Hopefully they can give Crosby the same respect some day.

    • babykaby - Jan 21, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      It is common knowledge that when someone is unable to make a viable point they revert to schoolyard name calling. Aren’t you glad this is not face to face so we can’t all point at you and laugh hysterically? By the way, there is such a thing as capitalizing the first word of a sentence. You might want to go back to school, obviously where you belong, and learn a little bit. Oh, and also, I think Ovie said it right when he said, “Shittsburgh”.

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