Thursday, August 25, 2011

On Crosby: A History Lesson

By Artistry

The news that doctors expect Sidney Crosby to eventually make a "full recovery" gives us hope this morning, but still, uncertainties abound. How does the team prepare for the season? What if Sid is still on the shelf at the trade deadline? What do we do then? We'll get there, but first, a history lesson.

A former NHL superstar, forced to retire prematurely because of the same type of problem now plaguing the Penguins captain, said he thinks the injury might be more serious than the Penguins are reporting.

"You know the way hockey teams are," he said. "A serious injury is four to six weeks usually. When some-body says someone is out three to four months, you know something is seriously wrong. For anyone to say it's not a serious problem, they are trying to fool someone. If he has any kind of pain... he's going to constantly be thinking about it, thinking it might get worse. It's one thing to play with an injury you know is going to get better. It's another to play with an injury you know will never go away."

Penguins officials responded.

"We want people to understand we've been on top of the situation and in letting the public know (what's going on)," the General Manager of the Penguins said. "We're concerned some people might think maybe the Penguins haven't been honest in our disclosure ... that we're just trying to sell tickets and hide the facts. That's not anywhere near the truth. We've been honest and upfront about [this]. We're not going to try to hide it."

The former NHL superstar? Mike Bossy. The Penguins GM? Craig Patrick. And the player in question is Mario Lemieux. Yes, these are actual quotes pulled from a Pittsburgh Press article by Gerry Dulac, dated October 26, 1990.

Imagine if Twitter existed in 1990.
There are plenty of other headlines and columns from that summer of 1990 that echo the media frenzy of August 2011. Go ahead, dig into the archives. You'll find a Vancouver Province column dated September 28, 1990, wherein Jim Taylor suggests Lemieux's retirement may be imminent:

"Because right now that same young giant who can do so many marvelous things with that body that has never failed him is unable to reach down and pull on his own socks. In the weeks and months ahead, the biggest pain may lie in not knowing when - or if - it will end."

Lemieux came back to play in late January of 1991, and proceeded to win back-to-back Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup trophies.

Suck it, Bossy.
Will Sidney Crosby's career follow a similar path? Will he be back in one month, six months, or next year? Who knows. Maybe we should learn to live with uncertainty the way we did 21 years ago. And heed the words of defenseman Jimmy Johnson from that Dulac article:

"We know how important he is to the club, but we put it in the back of our minds because he's not here and we got to do it without him. We'll be grateful when he gets healthy, but he's got to get healthy to live a normal life. Life is more important than this game. There's no question, when he gets healthy, he'll come back and be the same old [insert name of captain here]."


  1. we all know sid won't be sid when he returns but if can play he's worth every penny. i say start him dec 27th vs carolina. home game. xmas present. no need to play a full season. that is... if he plays at all.

  2. Great post, guys! Only wish all in the Pittsburgh and extended hockey world would read this post and maybe calm down and gain a little perspective. One can hope for both Sidney's healthy return and a dramatic increase in GTOG readership. :)