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Crosby news definitely not good

August 17, 2011
By John Mehno, For the Mirror
PITTSBURGH — Mid-week commentary on the news: Reports say Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will not be ready for the Oct. 8 season opener. A Canadian reporter claimed three sources told him that Crosby’s lingering concussion issues will prevent him from playing. The Penguins tried to take control of the story Monday, but general manager Ray Shero’s answers just raised more questions. Shero acknowledged that Crosby is still experiencing some post-concussion symptoms. Until Crosby is symptom-free, he won’t be cleared for contact. That means he can’t play. But then Shero said he wasn’t sure what the symptoms were. What? How could the GM of the team, whose championship hopes ride on Crosby’s availability, not have the details? It’s OK is Shero doesn’t want to share the information, but it’s hard to believe he doesn’t have it. For that matter, it’s just as hard to believe that the Penguins haven’t sent their doctors to Crosby’s home in Nova Scotia to monitor his progress. As the mystery surrounding Crosby’s condition grows, so do conspiracy theories. Some players are back quickly after concussions. Others take more time. Crosby isn’t alone. The St. Louis Blues recently said that forward David Perron won’t participate in training camp and won’t be available for the start of the season. Perron sustained a concussion last Nov. 4 an missed the last 72 games of the season. Of course, Perron isn’t the face of the NHL the way Crosby is, so his situation is under the radar outside of St. Louis. Shero didn’t exactly deny the Canadian-based reports that said Crosby won’t be ready to play in October. Mostly he said he didn’t know. That can’t be good news. The Steelers play the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday. If you’re going to watch one preseason game, this is the one to watch. The starters should play most of the first half. The New York Islanders announce plans to have a viewing party of their Feb. 11 fight-filled game against the Penguins. This is straight out of the 1970s, but the concept is familiar — if you can’t have a good team, have one that fights a lot. The Penguins did that a long time ago, employing hired guns like Steve Durbano, Dave Schultz and Bob “Battleship” Kelly. That was then. It’s incredible to think someone would think it’s a good idea in 2011. Mehno can be reached at

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