Penguins handled Crosby the right way

Updated: November 21, 2011, 11:40 AM ET
By Craig Custance

It's been six years since Keith Primeau's last concussion, and the symptoms still return. There are headaches, pressure and a fatigue that didn't exist before his concussions. So while Sidney Crosby was in the process of recovering from his, Primeau sent the Penguins' captain the message that the most important thing he could do was wait until he was 100 percent ready to play.

"If you don't feel right, that means there's something still wrong," Primeau said.

On Monday night, it ends. The waiting is over, and Crosby will return to the Penguins' lineup after 10 months on the shelf. The lone focus that entire time by Crosby and the Penguins was making sure he was completely recovered from any symptoms, and during the process the organization and their star player revolutionized how NHL players should treat a concussion. On the day of Crosby's return, it's important to give credit to general manager Ray Shero and the rest of the Penguins organization for the way they managed his recovery once the severity was realized.

"The whole organization -- the way they've handled it, it's been tremendous," Primeau said. "Whether he likes it or not, he has become the face of [post-concussion syndrome]. Without knowing it or not, he's become a real ambassador for the cause -- especially the way he's handled it."

It makes today a day of optimism, ending months of speculation that included concern whether we'd ever see Crosby's return to the NHL. If Crosby's career returns to the trajectory it was on when he left the game in January, Pittsburgh's patience is a big reason for it.