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Crosby has broken jaw, out indefinitely

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Official word comes from the Penguins that Sidney Crosby has a broken jaw and will be out indefinitely. The team expects to have a firmer timeline later in the week.

Here’s the Trib’s news coverage by Rob Rossi.

Obviously a lousy development for the athlete and the organization. General timetable on broken jaws is six weeks. As Pirates catching prospect Tony Sanchez — who’s had two of them — just tweeted, a “full recovery is 8-10 weeks, and that does not include the time it takes to gain back the weight that was lost.”

Hockey players have found ways to return early from broken jaws, of course. The most famous in Pittsburgh sports history probably was Dave Parker for the Pirates in the 1970s, wearing that unusual batting helmet. And the most famous with the Penguins was Rick Tocchet in the 1990s …

Tocchet was one of the toughest players in franchise history, but I’d match Crosby’s toughness with anyone. So whatever projections you read or hear, bear that in mind.

All kinds of questions now loom:

>> How will the lines shake out?

Brenden Morrow’s a top-six forward, but the only center out of the six is Evgeni Malkin. I’d expect Brandon Sutter to move up, probably with Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis. But that’s just me.

>> Can Crosby still win the scoring title?

I wouldn’t bet on it, if he doesn’t return for the regular season. He’s up 10 points on the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos, and Tampa Bay still has 14 games left. Hard to imagine Stamkos not producing at a point per game.

>> How about MVP?

Sure, why not?

Stamkos is on a non-playoff team, and you have to go all the way down to the current No. 5 scorer, Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks, to find a non-Penguin, playoff-bound player.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Milo Hamilton says:

    So it takes longer if you break your jaw in a bar fight ?

    DK: Tony’s jaw had to be wired shut. Don’t know that yet about Sid.

  2. Matt in Ann Arbor says:

    The 8-10 weeks is baseball time, hockey time = 2 games !!

  3. George Contis says:

    Didn’t Paul Coffey break his jaw while with the Pens and he came back andplayed with not much of a layoff by donning a full cage?

    DK: Yep. Thanks, George! And welcome!

  4. Dante says:

    Gut feeling, does he return before seasons end to take scoring title?

  5. Milo Hamilton says:

    And Go Wolverines !

  6. deb says:

    Pens organization needs to burn those darn blue jersey. I can hardly bear to watch a game when they wear them, as it seems someone is always injured. They are jinxed….

  7. Flick says:

    Why not reunite Kunitz, Malkin and Neal? Then move Iginla back to RW, where he is obviously more comfortable, and move Dupuis to left wing and have Sutter center them.

  8. Milo Hamilton says:

    You brought back a lot of memories with the Dave Parker story. If memory serves they gave the standard 6 week timetable but he returned 15 days later after his DL stint had ended. During his time off he was forbidden from taking BP but did it in secret at a local batting cage. He bought the goalie mask at a sporting goods store. He went on to win the MVP after missing only 2 weeks.

  9. Milo Hamilton says:

    Here’s Parker going all Michel Dion on us.

    DK: This is great.

  10. DemonDachshund says:

    They’d be crazy to bring him back before the playoffs. Scoring title would be nice and all, but it’s about the cup.

    After that, it depends on his health and potentially what the situation is… I’d keep him out as long as they can, so unless it’s an elimination game he’s on my bench.

  11. JohninOshkosh says:


  12. Turd Ferguson says:

    What about a full-face mask? There was a player for the Blackhawks that had a molded plastic shield that covered his mouth. I don’t want to rush him back, but I think he’d rather play.

  13. Devon says:

    I say no. Keep iginla with Malkin and Neal. Once sid comes back, they will probably be together again so keep it that way to let them gel together. We saw some good things towards the end of the game yesterday. Get those guys and Sid Kunitz and dupuis in the playoffs…huge matchup problem.

  14. Bjm says:

    Any concerns that this means less opportunity to tinker with lines with new faces?

  15. JohninOshkosh says:

    Read Rossi’s report. Any concern by medical staff that trauma to jaw could reignite concussion symptoms?

  16. CWalton_67 says:


  17. Yeah, it’s not like hockey is a contact sport like baseball, right?


  18. CWalton_67 says:

    How exactly, has Pittsburgh angered the hockey gods? On a serious note, let’s hope that Sid heals well and quickly.

  19. Max says:

    I’d prefer the made less line changes, rather than more. Don’t upset every line if you can avoid it.

    Second, how about some stats as to how well Malkin steps up when Crosby is out?

  20. J Walter Weatherman says:

    I fully expect Malkin to start playing at MVP-level again. Happens everytime Crosby gets hurt.

  21. Pucknutz says:

    Don’t it though.

  22. mike says:

    I know everyone loves Kunitz and Pascal however most of their talent is because of 87. I like them as well but might be a challenge without 87 to score goals. More like a great 3rd line without 87

  23. mike says:

    I see a trade coming to fill the 4th line center and truly needed now that 87 is out

  24. tpbco says:

    Broke my jaw in baseball. Cyclone fence bar across the mouth – broke jaw, knocked 4 teeth out, broke & chipped a couple more.

    Jaw was wired shut for a month, lost 15 pounds I didn’t have at the time.

    Let’s hope Sid’s isn’t as bad. It would be at least a couple of weeks until even a face shield would matter. I think those guys that were able to come back quick didn’t have teeth involved, they likely just broke the jawbone behind the teeth. Just a guess based on what I went through.

    Worst part, can’t eat. Protein shakes can only go so far. So longer rehab to get back to strength.

  25. pattonbb says:

    Very cool, Milo.

  26. SJB says:

    Agreed. I seriously doubt you’ll see a Kunitz/Dupuis line doing much at all with anyone else centering that line. Until Sid comes back, it’s time to put Kunitz back with Geno/Neal and trying Dupuis and Iginla on Sutter’s line.

    BTW: How unsurprising is it that it was Orpik who’s shot hit Crosby? If this guy hasn’t become the one bad luck charm for the Pens, then I don’t know what. If it’s not a bad penalty, or a bad defensive decision, it’s an unlucky shot deflection into the face of our best player. At this point: Orpik > LeClair. Crazy how the one negative on this team, outside of maybe Kennedy, or glass, goes virtually unnoticed and without blame because the team is winning. Must be nice to be that good as a team to carry that kinda negative baggage from what is supposed to be a top player…a player who wears an A for pete’s sake.

    Go ahead lambast me for it, but you better be able to back it up with anything good he’s done for this team this season…or even last for that matter, intentionally or not. Because on the ice, I don’t see it. He better be giving out back massages and foot rubs in the locker room

    Also, The injury to Crosby’s jaw all depends on where the break is. I’m more inclined to believe it’s not at the hinge points, but somewhere in the front which would make me also believe he could come back to play faster and be able to do it wearing a full shield.

    Don’t panic people. No team has ever coasted to a cup without some adversity or drama. I’m just glad Shero went out and added depth to this roster with this hopefully in mind, as I had a feeling a significant injury or to would raise it’s ugly head. Why I hated the whole “If’s it’s not broken, don’t fix it” thinking before any trades were even made. Something always breaks…always.

  27. TJ says:

    Man; Optimistic he will return for the playoffs?? That doesn’t sound good. Thank God Shero pulled the trigger on Iginla when he did.

  28. TJ says:

    Saturday was a prime example of it Walter. He went to another level in that game. We don’t have to worry about 1a and 1b. Shero needs to worry about another center and move Sutter up between Dupuis and Kunitz.

  29. SJB says:

    Teeth? Hockey players can come back from suffering broken teeth after one game. Show me a hockey player with all his teeth and I’ll more than likely show you a not very good one. Sid lost a few to Hatcher in his rookie season, had the teeth fixed, and played the next game.

    Like I said previously though, unless it’s a break at the temporo joint that requires it be wired shut to heal properly, but is more to the cervical/facial area, it might be something that can be repaired with oral surgery and screws. Of course he would have to no doubt wear a full shield with protection the that area of the jaw.

    Just like a broken foot can sometimes still be played on and other times it requires weeks of healing before it can, we really can’t speculate on to how this will effect him and when he may be back until they give more information on the exact details of the injury.

  30. SJB says:

    Exactly. Where are all those “We don’t need Iggy” pundits now? Probably out driving on old tires without a spare.

  31. T.S. says:

    I don’t see Crosby on the IR too long. I think he’s going to want to play in the first round of the playoffs. Nothing wrong with his arms, legs, skating, shot, etc. Strap that cage on the helmet and let’s roll. :)

  32. RobertoForever says:

    Happen to be out to my first hockey game of the season. Here in Columbus watching the Blue Jackets host the Ducks.

    Couple of thoughts.

    1) The Blue Jackets are 1 pt out a playoff spot. It would be awesome to see them in the playoffs again. Went to their 1 other appearance. Hope they see some success after trading Nash.

    2) Sergei Bobrovsky is great. Sees everything and gives up no 2nd chances. What a great find for Jackets.

    3) Steve Mason has fallen far. He was literally a brick wall when he broke in a few years ago. Now, he’s just broken. Sad.

    4) The Jackets are doing all this with mostly young guys. Almost no one over 30. Several key guys 24 & younger.

    5) Great game today. But refs are just calling a terrible game. Missed two high sticks, as well as two cheap shots by the Ducks. Wonder if the Ducks are trying things since the Jackets young enforcer / 2nd line winger is out.

  33. TJ says:

    I don’t think anyone is in panic mode but lets be honest here…. this team has lost its top 2 defenseman and the best player in the world in the past week.

    Those are some large shoes to fill. I’m confident that Sid being Sid will return at a high level again and all will be right with the world but man we’ve lost some talent in the past week.

  34. Wiz Molar says:

    Wired shut or not, If he hasn’t already, Sid should be in contact with Gary Roberts to adjust his smoothie recipe.

  35. SJB says:

    Oh yeah, we’ve lost enough to seriously handicap most teams but they are playing great team defense and have enough star and clutch goal scoring left to get through the remainder of the regular season without a big drop off in results as the injured get back. Only Martin has me really worried at this point, as he was playing real well and being out that long could make it hard for him to get back to that level.

    FYI: Just read Crosby’s jaw is not wired shut, although for now he is on a soft or liquid diet, so I think that is a positive sign as far the long-term severity of the injury and his timetable for getting back into the lineup. I would imagine he’ll be able to get back to the ice for practice fairly soon and even if he has to wear a cage of some sort, should be back well before the regular season is over. That’s the feeling I get anyway.

  36. Miss Inga Molar says:

    Furthermore, neither Sid’s nor Martin’s injury will keep them from skating or conditioning, which will certainly help in the cup runneth.

    Now, where’d I stash that vitamixer?

  37. tpbco says:

    Unless there has been a major change in procedure, I do not know how screws can be used when the injury occurs by having the jawbone wall broken, caved in and teeth knocked out. That’s what happen in my injury, although mine was closer to head on. It is largely, I’m guessing, a function of how and where it broke and whether they can “replant” the teeth or he’s going the bridge route.

    There is not a lot of room for screws around the teeth. In my case, the teeth were shoved back in and then I was wired shut. I could see that if they were just to ultimately but a bridge in, I guess you could screw the broken piece(s) down into stable bone.

    Regardless, the latest reports are that he wasn’t wired. I’m not a dentist/oral surgeon, nor do I play one on TV. I was just relating my own experience. If it was like mine, I guarantee you, hockey player or not, he’s out for a month.

  38. tpbco says:

    A lot of those “pundits” – and I was borderline – were concerned about what the price was going to be. No one figured that they would essentially steal him.

    No one.

  39. Konstantin says:

    It’s about 50/50 that we could go 0-12-0 and still get the #2 seed. (Also worth noting that the #2 could well end up being better than #1, depending not just on who finishes 8th–nobody wants to see Henrik–but because whoever doesn’t win the Northeast between Boston/Montreal would be the chalk matchup for the first seed in the second round. But reseeding makes that, too, impossible to predict in advance.)

    If he’s out until playoffs I’m not concerned about rust or chemistry with Kunitz and Dupuis. Power play could take a while especially with Martin similarly questionable. As noted, raw deal that injury is likely to cost him the Ross for the second time for certain, and maybe the third, plus what would in average career health probably be his third Hart.

  40. RobertoForever says:

    Jackets win in OT! Now in 8th place and the playoffs.

    DK: That is so far and away the surprise of the year in the NHL that I can’t think of a close second.

    Just imagine CBJ making it while Rick Nash sits out.

  41. SJB says:

    I was referring to the people who thought the adding of Iginla would somehow screw up chemistry or were content to stand pat as they didn’t need more scoring, etc. A lot of people thought we couldn’t afford him, but I was on record of saying no one knew what he would cost and to flat out say he was going to be too expensive was baseless.

    I said ultimately, Iginla would go to the team he wanted to go to (knew he would probably be going East as well) and what teams were willing to offer had little to do with his decision. Unless the Flames were going to resign him, or watch him walk for nothing in the off-season, a team realistically could have gotten him for less than what the Pens did. He held all the power in that trade. Now, how that means “expensive” is beyond me.

    I didn’t think the Pens would have, or could have “stolen” him like they did, but I didn’t think the price was going to be the determining factor of the trade anyway. Realistically, because of his no-trade clause, the Pens didn’t steal him and the Flames were lucky to get as much as they did for him.

  42. SJB says:

    And I guarantee because of this, you will see a lot less of, or revisions to no-trade clauses that protect owners more, in the future. Seriously, once Iginla narrowed his decision down to one team, he had Feaster by the balls and if the Pens could have known this, Shero could have offered them a 3rd round pick and Sid’s sweat stained ball cap for him and they pretty much would have had to take it.

  43. SJB says:

    Columbus doesn’t have a Blue Jackets blog anywhere?

  44. dcpinpgh says:

    After Marc Staal’s freak eye injury, everyone was whining about everyone needs to wear a shield, so after Sid’s freak jaw injury, are we going to be hearing about everyone should be wearing a full face mask?

  45. tdb1977 says:

    Mr. Personality is coming in for the Astros. Our favorite pitcher last year, Erik Bedard has just entered for the Astros with 2 on and 2 outs in the Bottom of the 6th.

  46. Eric Bowser says:

    Yes, I’ve always thought the full cage should be required but I know that will never happen and barely think the visor requirement will pass.

  47. Eric Bowser says:

    With Crosby out, I’d like to see the lines as

    Morrow – Malkin – Neal
    Kunitz – Jeffrey – Iginla
    Cooke – Sutter – Dupuis
    Glass – Adams – Kennedy

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