Slap Shot Radio Blog: The big winner of the NHL Lockout

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Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will look to make an immediate impact in 2013.

As Sidney Crosby prepares to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins into the short season of 2013, the NHL lockout may have secretly been of benefit to him.

by: Ryan McKenna

The NHL lockout wasn’t fun for anybody. Not the fans, not the players, not the coaches and certainly not for the owners.  Everybody lost money.  That includes Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who I’m sure, lost a few million dollars over the past four months as well.  Looking at the larger picture, maybe the NHL lockout of 2012-13 was a blessing in disguise for the Penguins superstar.

After sustaining multiple concussions in Jan. 2011 at the NHL Winter Classic in Pittsburgh, and then shortly after against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Crosby played only 41 games in 2010-11.  Although he missed the rest of the regular season and playoffs that year, he was still able to put up 66 points.  Crosby missed the start of 2011-12 due to post-concussion syndrome, before returning in November, and then had to sit out once again when symptoms returned.  Eventually, Crosby returned in March 2012 and was quite effective for the Penguins, posting eight points in a first round playoff loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Although Crosby was “healthy” at the end of last season, you’ve got to think that resting his brain during this season’s lockout isn’t a travesty.  It’s been two years since David Steckel originally hit Crosby at Heinz Field, and speaking from experience, concussions take a long time to heal.  What happened to Crosby certainly opened coaches, players, and parents knowledge of what a concussion actually does and how long an individual can take to recover.

I don’t know Sidney Crosby personally, I don’t know if he still gets a really bad headache from time to time, but I do know that the more rest for his brain, the better, especially after a crazy last two years.

The Penguins locked up Crosby in June to a 12-year, $104.4 M contract, and that only re-solidified Crosby’s status as the Penguins all-star and leader.

This lockout may have sucked for Crosby, and everyone else, but let’s hope that it gave his brain enough time to recover, and that we see the Crosby of 2010 on Jan. 19.