By Brian Metzer
As we all know, Sidney Crosby took the ice this morning for the first time since January 5th when he was knocked out of action with a concussion that has plagued him ever since. Well, he not only on took the ice, but was available to the media for the first time in quite a while.
The Penguins were accommodating enough to send out a transcript of the full availability and I have it for you here. Sid addresses much of what we have all had on our minds and makes some very interesting points in the process…
Without further adieu, here is the transcript for your review…
On the last few days:
SC: I’ve had some good days here the last few, and I was able to get on a bike and exercise a bit. I didn’t have any symptoms doing that. I was given the opportunity to skate, the doctors said I could give it a try and see how I feel. So I did that today, and we’ll see moving forward how it goes.
On how long he’s been symptom free:
SC: With exercise, a few days.
On how he feels right now:
SC: I feel all right. It’s kind of early, with these things, usually I kind of tended to get symptoms a little later on in the day, so we’ll see how it goes.
On if he thinks he’ll play again this year:
SC: I have no clue. I’m not thinking too far ahead as far as a time frame. I just want to get better. This is part of the way to do that. I’m just kind of taking that step and seeing how it goes.
On the frustration:
SC: Yeah, it’s frustrating, but at the same time when you go through all those things, I think the most important thing is that you just feel normal and you’re able to do things and work out – just do things that every day you’re usually able to do as a hockey player. I realize that it’s a process, but it’s a step in the right direction. It doesn’t mean that today I won’t have symptoms, and I’ll have to kind of step back a bit. That could happen too, so I think I’m pretty realistic about everything.
On how his everyday life was affected:
SC: Everyday things are pretty good now. If they weren’t, I would ‘t be jumping on a bike. Getting through days have been much better the last week or so. That’s pretty normal, but as far as getting through exertion, we’ll see how things go and that’s a little different. But we’ll see how I respond today, and we’ll adjust accordingly.
On how many days he’s been symptom free:
SC: I couldn’t even tell you how many days. I see the doctor pretty regularly, so that’s all up to them. I couldn’t tell you how many days, but for them to be confident enough to tell me to jump on a bike or go on the ice, then I’m sure it was at least normal.
On how far away he feels in terms of being in shape, concussion symptoms aside:
SC: That’s impossible. Today is progress, but I’m nowhere close to where I need to be as far as being in shape. I’m not even going to talk about that, I just want to be able to get through that without getting a headache, let alone worrying about where my conditioning is at. That’s a whole new level.
On his impression of the team playing without him, Malkin and other injured players:
SC: I’ve been here every day, and I’ve been around the guys. It’s been pretty amazing to see the amount of character we have. I think with all the adversity we’ve had, the guys have really done an unbelievable job of just focusing on what they have to do out there. They’ve been resilient, and that’s something that says a lot about our team. I don’t think I was surprised, but it’s pretty unique to see a group of guys and what they’ve been through have the success that they’re having. I’m happy to see that, and for me just to be able to come here every day has been good just to be around the guys. So yeah, I’ve been around, but I don’t know if I’ve really been helping. I’m just happy to be around.
On how long he was on the ice and what he did out there:
SC: I was out there for about 15 minutes. I didn’t do much. I just kind of skated around. Nothing major, just stick-handled pucks.
On if he is at all interested in the GM meetings and what may transpire there:
SC: Yeah, I think everyone is. But that’s up to them, and we’ll see what happens. There’s obviously a ton of talk with rule changes and stuff like that. So we’ll see what happens.
On what it’s been like for him and his family having to deal with the rumors:
SC: It’s been all right. It’s to be expected. It’s probably harder for them than me. They hear it a lot more than I do. I don’t really pay attention to most of it. I’m probably used to it a little more than they are. But I think if anything, I just kind of let them know how I’m doing. I’m the best person to hear from as far as that is concerned. It’s something that kind of comes with the territory, but I don’t think it’s ever surprising, but it’s definitely interesting to see what can be said and rumors and things like that. I don’t know where people even begin to get that kind of stuff, but it’s probably a little scary, actually, when you think about it.
On if he has since talked to anybody who has gone through what he’s going through:
SC: I think everyone deals with it differently and everyone’s situation is different. Not everyone has the exact same symptoms. Symptoms are the biggest thing, and I don’t think you can ever compare symptoms. So if anyone, I’ve talked to Jordan Leopold, who was here. He dealt with concussions a bit. I saw him when Buffalo was in town. But other than that, I haven’t really reached out to anyone. I think you just kind of deal with it the way you need to and I think the kind of common message is to not rush it. And if your body is telling you something, you listen to it. That’s basically what I’ve tried to do.
On how scary this whole process has been for him:
SC: Yeah, it’s scary for sure. But thinking about it or dwelling on it isn’t really going to change anything. You’ve got to make sure, like I said, listen to yourself and what’s going on. Provide doctors and things like that the most information you can about how you feel. And trust them in what they’re telling you is going to happen, and that’s been the case. So everything has gone well that way and it’s a matter of time and I’m waiting for everything to feel better. That’s what you deal with with injuries and when it’s your head, even more so. But it’s been kind of a learning process that way, I guess.
On if he ever considered hanging them up, for retirement or for this season:
On if the league needs to ban head shots:
SC: That’s a great question. I mean, I’d like to say yes, but it’s more than just saying that. There’s got to be obviously some clarity and everything’s got to be looked at as far as how you do that. It’s a pretty fast game and there may be times when guys don’t target the head and they may come in contact with the head, so what do you do in that situation? So banning them would be the easiest, I guess, and the safest route. But at the same time, there are times when there is going to be accidental contact and how do you deal with that. That’s something that they have to work out. But as far as targeting the head, yeah. No matter if it’s from the blindside or straight on, if someone targets the head, then yeah, I think that should be banned. But when you’re looking at accidental contact and stuff, well, that’s going to be up to people making those disciplinary decisions whether or not it was targeted and things like that. But that’s kind of what needs to be talked about. But as far as deliberate head shots, yeah. You’re not going to lose anything from the game if you take that away. I don’t think you’re going to lose anything at all. I mean, if a guy has enough time to line someone up, then he’s got enough time to decide whether he can hit him in the head or not. I think that’s pretty realistic. But it’s whether or not it’s intentional, sometimes that’s tough to really know when you’re talking about a fast game like hockey. So that’s something they have to discuss. The easy answer is yes, but it’s just finding out how to do it the right way so that you still have that physical element but at the same time, guys are a little bit safer too.