Sidney Crosby spoke in a press conference Wednesday for the first time since his ‘double-concussion’ back in early January. So what was said? Well, nothing…and everything. There is no single player in the NHL who has more of a ripple effect on fantasy hockey than Sid the Kid. So let’s take a look at the best-case scenario, the worst-case scenario, as well as analyze what was said by Crosby and his doctors.
Concussion specialist Dr. Collins stated that he knew “they were in for a long recovery” from the first time he saw Crosby, indicating that the symptoms that were exhibited immediately spoke volumes to him about the type and severity. So he is unsurprised that Crosby is still not 100 percet. The concussion is, however, a “manageable injury”, but they are “not going to make any mistakes in this case”.
Dr. Collins is “supremely confident” that Sid will make a full recovery. Sid was assessed yesterday and his state “is the best we’ve seen” and Collins is “very pleased with where he is at now”. They just need to get him reconditioned – and as we all expected, the specialist said that there is no timeline for this. When asked about introducing contact, Collins said – “not even close”. As for a timeline, Collins refused to say whether October 6 was possible or impossible. Didn’t want to go down any road that led to a hint of a timeline. There is no truth to the rumor of him going backstage, taking off his mask and revealing Gary Bettman.
The press conference then turned the attention to Dr. Ted Carrick. He described the evaluation process and got into specifics of what Crosby can do now. He seemed very upbeat and positive about the injury and I get the impression that when it is solved, it will be solved.
As for Crosby himself, he did have several interesting things to say.
1. Retirement has never crossed his mind.
2. He is very happy with his last three weeks (the term 90% and for some reason 89% was bandied about a lot).
3. When asked if there was a chance that he would never come back, he replied that there is a “very slight one, but I wouldn’t bet on it.” He is not preparing for that possibility at all.
4. He went over some of the worst symptoms that hit at times, ranging from migraines to having trouble watching the video with the rest of his team back in the spring.
5. The key question he was asked – is it more likely or more unlikely that he will play in the coming season: “Likely.” No hesitation.
The Pittsburgh Penguins camp begins on September 17. He won’t be ready for that, given that he is “not close” to contact and when he does take contact he is likely looking at two to three weeks of it before getting into a game. The season starts on October 6.
I don’t believe it is reasonable to think that Crosby plays more than 70 games in 2011-12. But I think 70 is possible. We’ll call that “best case”. In the fantasy guide, I have him down for 65 games. That’s just a safer bet. I also don’t think he plays zero games, given his answer of “Likely”. And he won’t bother coming back in March – why do that? So the worst case to me is 30 games. That’s a very big gap, and as I said – the ripple effect will be huge. Many players go from ” no fantasy value” to “decent fantasy value”…or from “decent fantasy value” to “star fantasy value”, and so forth. Here are my projections of the two scenarios (70 games on the left, 30 games on the right). The real result, I’m sure, will be somewhere in between.