Given the orgy of injuries the Penguins recently got hit with, only a complete idiot would dispute the statement that the Penguins need Crosby on the ice now more than they have during this entire concussion saga.
The sad part is that no one knows what is going on. No one even knows if Crosby's current concussion-like symptoms stem from his first concussion or if it was a completely separate event. Regardless of what the answer is, it's not good news.
Given the dire straits the Penguins are in now, answers to questions about Crosby will be in high demand. Keeping fans in the dark about everything may be the Penguins' decision or it may be Crosby's decision. Either way, when the entire fan base has no clue what's going on with the pivot point of the franchise, then someone failed somewhere along the line. Miserably.
After the jump, some random, unorganized talking points that are from our own mind, from friends, from comments, and from Twitter.
1.) If top medical minds cleared this guy to play after a methodical and deliberate rehab program and then he went out, got bumped, and began experiencing symptoms again, that is not good at all.
2.) On the other side of the coin, if he suffered a second concussion that was in no way related to the first, that is not good at all.
3.) Hell, the silence around Crosby's status may even be his agent's decision. Crosby and the Pens have some contract-extension talks in the crystal ball, and from a business standpoint, it'd be best for Crosby not to take another hit that could affect those contact talks. And don't say "Crosby is a good guy; he wouldn't do that." Any other time money is mentioned in professional sports, people just say, "oh, well, it's a business." Why the double standard for Crosby?
4.) Then put yourself in Ray Shero's shoes. You're gonna sit down and give Crosby some kind of long-term, 10yr/$100mill deal under a cloud of concussion uncertainty? Pens are gonna be in a tough spot, no question about it.
5.) If Crosby would come out and say he won't play this season, it would alleviate a lot. The Pens could place him on LTIR and maybe the Pens could make some moves. Then again, if Crosby doesn't come back, Pens aren't winning the Stanley Cup, so there's no reason to trade away prospects and draft picks when the second round of the playoffs is your goal. It's not a case of "hey, don't quit on the team!! They are hard-workers!" It's a case of the Penguins not being able to compete against teams that have spent to the cap and have all their players healthy.
6.) There's a growing sentiment that Crosby is bigger than the Penguins. Not true at all. It's a foolish statement. It's the very reason that this post was put on the Internet. We don't feel like sitting around being held hostage. Hopefully the Penguins feel the same way. Aside from 2009, it looks like teams can win Stanley Cups without Sidney Crosby on their roster.
7.) No one is giving up on Crosby. All this speculation is the product of either the Penguins or Crosby intentionally keeping everyone in the dark. The only way to stop the speculation is to become more transparent at a time where it will begin being demanded more and more.
People will misinterpret all of this as us hating Crosby and not caring about his health or about what he means to the franchise. If that's the case, apparently this is the first day you're reading this stupid blog and you're still all jammed up about TebowMania.