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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: More important things

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> My Wednesday column addresses the NHL’s inexplicable All-Star snub of James Neal. My thanks to the athlete for insight and the Penguins’ Jason Seidling for information contained herein.

>> Anyone who missed it on the blog yesterday, please check Craig Adams’ comments. They will, as the entry states, be my final words on this.

>> Final thought I had on the way out of the building after the 2-1 victory: If the NFL investigated the Browns for their inexcusable bungling of the Colt McCoy concussion, what will the NHL do to the Hurricanes for doing precisely the same thing to Jeff Skinner last night?

Answer: Nothing.

I don’t care that the Penguins’ doctors cleared  his return. I don’t care that, as Carolina coach Kirk Muller later described it, Skinner was ‘feisty’ to return. That 19-year-old kid was fresh off missing a month to a concussion, and he was knocked senseless by Brooks Orpik. He staggered twice after trying to get back to the bench.

No way, no how should he have returned to the ice.

>> Thoughts and prayers in two directions for the Steelers, to Mike Tomlin for losing his father at age 63 and to running backs coach Kirby Wilson, who has an unimaginable road to recovery. All of Scott Brown’s coverage is on our Steelers page.

>> Also part of that coverage were Art Rooney II’s revealing remarks about the offseason to come, notably his less-than-definitive statement on Hines Ward’s future. You’d think that’s one management already knows. If Ward is serious about coming back — assuming the Steelers will have him — sounds like he’d better be ready to play for the love of the game. Meaning minimum wage.

Interesting, too, was Rooney’s declaration that Ben Roethlisberger needs to find a way to stay in the pocket next season. It’s a great point. Ben’s going to be 30 by then, and he’s not going to mimic Fran Tarkenton forever. Anyone who wants a glimpse at what Ben might look like as a pocket passer, check out film of the Tennessee game when he had the first of the two ankle injuries. I promise you’ll like it.

>> The Nailers have been put up for sale, and hockey in Wheeling could go dark.

>> Serious question: If I wrote a column about the future of soccer in Pittsburgh, would you read it?

Why or why not?

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