January 28, 2012
Crosby has vertebrae 'abnormality'Neck injury to go with concussion
By BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency
OTTAWA - Sidney Crosby’s recovery has taken a bizarre twist.
While the Penguins superstar is recovering from concussion-like symptoms, Rogers Sportsnet reported Saturday he also has an “abnormality” with his vertebrae (C1 and C2) that were discovered during a visit to a Utah doctor.
The report said he went to see a specialist in Utah on the advice of Gisele Bundchen, the supermodel wife of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, a close friend of Crosby’s.
That could be why Crosby recently sought the advice of a Los Angeles spinal specialist.
The Penguins confirmed in a statement Saturday night Crosby had suffered a “neck injury in addition to a concussion” and a meeting with neuroligical spine specialist Robert Bray in Los Angeles confirmed that information.
The statement said those findings will be evaluated by independent specialists next week in Pittsburgh.
GM Ray Shero is hopeful Crosby is going to be back playing this year.
“I’m confident he’s going in the right direction,” said Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson after the skills competition.
“We felt it was a good idea to bring Sidney to (Los Angeles) to have another set of eyes and another opinion. Concussions are related to the neck. It makes sense to look at that. Hopefull, this is good news so he can move forward.”
Said Kris Letang: “I know what Sid is going through. I’ve had similar problems. I just support him 100%.”
Centre Jason Spezza said the game needs Crosby.
“Sid is a marquee player. Everybody wants to see him playing. You feel for him and you hope that maybe this is something that is positive,” said Spezza. “Maybe this has been something that has been holding him back and maybe now that they know what it is, it could be something that solves his problem.”
TALKS ABOUT TO BEGIN
Senators GM Bryan Murray told the Sun he’ll open serious talks on a contract extension with D Erik Karlsson’s agent next week. While Murray has spoken briefly with Craig Oster, the Senators would like to get down to brass tacks to see if they can get a contract in place. “We do have to talk,” Murray said Saturday. “In the next week or so, we either have to make a phone call or they have to make a phone call to at least initiate some discussion.” Murray said the Senators know how valuable Karlsson, who can become a restricted free agent July 1, is to the team. “He’s a talented young man and unless something strange happens he should get better as we go forward,” said Murray. The betting here is Karlsson winds up with a deal that pays him $5 million a season.
THIS ’N’ THAT
Don’t expect to see the Devils trade captain Zach Parise before the Feb. 27 deadline. He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and there haven’t been any contract talks. New Jersey dealt former captain Jamie Langenbrunner last spring, but they’re in a playoff position and can’t afford to move Parise. If Parise tests the market, Minnesota and Los Angeles would be prepared to make a pitch ... With NHL and union officials mingling in the Chateau Laurier lobby Saturday, many are wondering if we’re going to see new proposals aimed at reducing the frequency of concussions. The biggest issue is the speed of the game and that’s why bringing back the red line will be on the agenda at GMs’ meetings in March. The talk is several NHL executives supported a move by the NHLPA to get rid of the trapezoid, but commissioner Gary Bettman doesn’t like the idea. Getting rid of the trapezoid would allow goalies to play the puck and slow the game down a little.
OFF THE GLASS
There are a number of teams showing interest in Bolts C Dominic Moore, who has been shopped by GM Steve Yzerman. The Senators are looking for a forward to play on the top three lines and may make a pitch ... The Blackhawks studied the possibility before acquiring C Brendan Morrison from Calgary Friday night ... The Maple Leafs have been tossing around the names of C Mikhail Grabovski and LW Clarke MacArthur in the trade discussions they’ve been having.
Have a nice Sunday and enjoy the all-star game.