Sidney Crosby has become a case study in hockey’s myriad dangers, how vulnerable players can be, and how difficult it will be for the NHL to further prevent concussion incidents. (Photo by Gene J. Puskar/AP)
By Stu Hackel
Sidney Crosby sat calmly at his dressing room stall on Monday, a Penguins cap pulled low on his brow and casting a shadow over his eyes. In a chipper tone, he described his condition as “not bad.”
Frequently smiling, Crosby patiently answered questions from those huddled around him about his latest injury, which is being called “concussion-like symptoms.” He believes he is not as seriously injured as when he was originally concussed last January by a combination of blows in two consecutive games, and he restated what had been known for a few days: that he had passed an ImPACT test of his brain activity, which ruled out that he had suffered another concussion.
But he ominously added, “The ImPACT isn’t everything. You’ve got to listen to your body, too.” He said there was no time frame on his return.
So the NHL’s fleeting feel-good story of the first half of the season has now ground to a halt and you have to wonder if it will transform into a recurring nightmare. There have to be legitimate concerns that Crosby is now one of those players who becomes highly susceptible to concussions after suffering one, that a series of them could be ahead, and his once-sunny future is now at least partly cloudy.