Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sidney Crosby injury still sticks to Tampa Bay Lightning's Victor Hedman

TAMPA — Months after Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby was concussed, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman said he still heard questions.

Even in his native Sweden.

"A lot of guys asked me about the hit," Hedman said. "I said, 'It's tough to explain.' I just finished my hit, and that was the end of it for him for that season and the beginning of this season."

The hit, Jan. 5 in Pittsburgh, was more a shove from behind — though Hedman did leave his feet — but it was enough that Crosby's head hit the glass. He hasn't played since.

The story got new life with word that Crosby, who has been cleared for contact for a month, will not be in the lineup tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum.

"You don't want to be on the spot where you end someone's career," Hedman said Wednesday. "But he's on the way back, and that's a good thing to see."

What Hedman did not mention — and it is integral to the story — is the hit to the head Crosby took four days earlier from then-Capitals center David Steckel, a blind-side shoulder shot so vicious, it is difficult to believe Crosby's concussion problem did not start there.

But the center kept playing. That set up the encounter with Hedman — portrayed by some in the media as the player who ended Crosby's season and who was booed in Pittsburgh during the playoffs — and more than 10 months waiting for his return.

"I think everyone in the league and our team wants to see him play," Lightning center Nate Thompson said. "I think it makes every team better when he's playing. It makes everyone better. It's better for the league. You want a guy like that. You hope for the best for Sid. You don't want him sitting out like that."

"I just can't imagine," said Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher, who coached Crosby in juniors, "what his life is like without being able to play."

Crosby's absence won't change how the Lightning approaches the game against the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference, led by left wing James Neal, who entered Wednesday second in the league with 12 goals.

Tampa Bay, on a two-game losing streak, has plenty to worry about with its game, such as a sputtering power play and simply breaking out of the defensive zone, two areas that were major focuses of Wednesday's practice.

"Just worry about our agenda, and that's it," said center Steven Stamkos, who added he "completely forgot" about the possibility of Crosby's return.

"I didn't even think about that, to be honest," Stamkos said. "(The Penguins are) playing really good right now. They've got guys who have stepped up and played well. For us to be in the game, we're going to have to play solid defensively."

As for Crosby, Stamkos said, "Hopefully, he returns soon. He's obviously one of the best players in the league and an exciting player to watch."

"I just told everyone," Hedman said, "I hope he recovers fast."

NOTES: Left wing Ryan Malone (upper body) has a "minimal" chance of playing, Boucher said. … Right wing Teddy Purcell (illness) could be out. … The new west entrance at the Times Forum will be open.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at

Sidney Crosby injury still sticks to Tampa Bay Lightning's Victor Hedman 11/16/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 10:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rick and Tom podcast: Worst-Case (Keenum) scenario


    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break down the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday in Minneapolis in their latest podcast.

    Minnesota Vikings quarterback Case Keenum (7) scrambles away from Bucs defensive end William Gholston (92) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. J.T. Brown of Lightning respects NFL players' protests


    There was something in the air in the NFL on Sunday. President Trump’s comments and tweets on NFL player protests achieved the effect of creating more of them. Lightning winger J.T. Brown was asked about it as he stood in a hall at Amalie Arena, a few hours before the Lightning played the Florida Panthers in …

    J.T. Brown, one of about 30 African-American players in the National Hockey League, would not rule out that he might protest.
  3. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Vikings review


    Greg Auman looks back on Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the latest edition of our Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Quarterback Jameis Winston is sacked during the first half of the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Who took a knee? How each NFL team responded to Donald Trump's tweets about anthem protests


    NFL players, coaches and owners across the league reacted in various ways on Sunday to remarks from President Donald Trump speaking about NFL players who have protested during the national anthem.

    Members of the Oakland Raiders kneel during the playing of the National Anthem before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. [Alex Brandon | Associated Press]
  5. East Lake alum George Campbell starting to click at Florida State


    When receiver Auden Tate (Wharton High) went down with a shoulder injury for Florida State on Saturday, the Seminoles' offense took a major hit. Quarterback James Blackman was 16-of-22 for 190 yards before Tate's injury and 6-of-16 for 88 after it.