NHL

Crosby Diagnosed with Another Concussion

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Maybe the simplest way is the best way to describe news that Sidney Crosby has been diagnosed with another concussion: It sucks. A lot.

The timetable for a return has yet to be determined for the Pittsburgh captain, who is coming off a Stanley Cup championship behind his Conn Smythe-winning play, as the most valuable player.  That performance was followed by more MVP honors, this one coming at the World Cup of Hockey, where the Canada captain led his team to tournament victory.

Sid was flying high. News that he will miss time yet again for a concussion is nothing short of devastating. To the Penguins, the league and any fan of the game.

After flirting with mercuric play in the first half, Sid busted out of the gate. In February and March, he scored 39 points in 29 games, finishing third in league scoring with 85 points, trailing only Patrick Kane (106) and Jamie Benn (89).

Number 87’s in-season rebound all but muted conversations that he wasn’t among the best in the game. News of his concussion, given his previous history, is especially concerning.

Crosby, who was kept out of Pittsburgh’s final two preseason games as a precaution, returns to a familiar spot–having missed the better part of two seasons beginning in 2011 with a concussion.

Pens’ general manager said Crosby was held out of Saturday’s preseason bout with Columbus after he wasn’t feeling well. He underwent further evaluation on Monday after not practicing which revealed a concussion. Head coach Mike Sullivan didn’t elaborate on how Sid might have gotten a concussion and isn’t getting frustrated over the news.

“He’s obviously an important player for us,” Sullivan told media following the announcement from GM Jim Rutherford. “We’re fortunate that we have the depth we have. We believe we have capable people that can help this team win, and that’s how we’ll approach it.”

“For me, frustration at this point is a useless emotion,” he said.

The Penguins will open the season at home against the Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. A banner  will be raised inside the Console Energy Center, among other festivities in accordance with the honoring of last year’s cup champion. Whether Crosby will be on hand to accompany the team he led remains unknown at this time.

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Elsewhere:

The Flames and forward Johnny Gaudreau agreed to a six-year, $40.5 million extension with a $6.75 million AAV. The two sides had been stuck in negotiations, Gaudreau’s camp likely aiming for a contract in the $7 million+ per season range. Meanwhile, Flames GM Brad Treliving was likely looking at teammate Sean Monahan’s $6.37 million per as an appropriate comparable.

In the end, the decision for Gaudreau appeared to be an obvious one–to get back on the ice. But, ahem–RE-SIGN.

At the time of this being published, Nikita Kucherov and the Tampa Bay Lightning have not yet agreed to terms on a new contract. The RFA led all Lightning skaters with 66 points last season and 19 points in 17 postseason games. Steve Yzerman had a dream summer re-signing both Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman at reasonable deals–a bridge deal would be a hat trick of mastery by Stevie Y.

Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas was hit with a six-game suspension for this hit on Bruins’ forward, Austin Czarnik.

After somehow escaping suspension a week ago following a hit on Rangers’ forward, Jimmy Vesey, he was finally dealt with by the Department of Player Safety. He’s quickly developing a reputation–dating back to last season. He’ll start his four-year, $13.4 million extension away from the team.

A final note–this one on the waiver wire, which was traditionally busy on the day prior to the league’s deadline to finalize their 23-men rosters. Among those worth a claim: P.A. Parenteau (Islanders), Teemu Pulkkinen (Red Wings), Zbynek Michalel (Coyotes) and goalie, Mike Condon (Canadiens). There’s likely a claim or two tomorrow when the clock strikes 12 EST.

One player who won’t be getting claimed is Jets’ goaltender, Ondrej Pavelec. Pavelec is entering the final season of  his contract. He was waived following another season of mediocre play in the crease–going 13-13-3 with a .904 save percentage and a 2.78 GAA.

He’s owed $3.9 million next season, which is an added incentive to avoid claiming the nine-year veteran who has been with the organization since its days in Atlanta.

Interestingly though, once Pavelec reports to Manitoba, Winnipeg’s AHL affiliate, he will no longer be subjected to escrow payments. That is according to some reports. Will be interesting to get some clarification. To a competitive athlete there’s nothing positive about being sent down, but it is noteworthy.

 

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