Former NHLer Keith Primeau can appreciate Crosby’s plight


TORONTO (AP) Former NHL forward Keith Primeau has a good idea what injured Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby is going through.

The effects of at least four concussions forced Primeau to retire in 2006 after trying for over a year to get back in the Philadelphia Flyers lineup. He was eventually told that it would be best if he stopped playing and he did a month later.

“If I knew then what I know now, the ultimate decision would have been for me to call it quits earlier,” Primeau told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. “But there was no chance that I was ever going to do that. How do you convince somebody? You’re playing a little bit of Russian roulette.”

Crosby suffered what’s believed to be the fourth concussion of his career Monday night against the Washington Capitals. His return date is uncertain.

Crosby was out of action for almost a year after suffering a pair of head injuries in early 2011. He suffered another concussion last October but only missed two weeks of action.

Making things even more difficult for Crosby is that his latest injury came in the heat of a playoff series against an archrival. Primeau said personal pride can sometimes get in the way of clear decision-making.

“You feel like you’re against the odds or you’re beating the odds,” Primeau said. “In reality, you don’t have the ability to look at the full picture.”

The 29-year-old Crosby led the NHL with 44 goals during the regular season and was recently named a finalist for the Hart Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s most valuable player. He had 11 points in eight playoff games for the defending Stanley Cup champions before his injury.

Related: Crosby skates at Penguins practice facility