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Fantasy Spin: Is trading Sid your best bet?

by Sergei J. Feldman

Fantasy owners take notice: Sidney Crosby will not join the Pittsburgh Penguins for a two-game road trip, which begins Thursday night against Atlantic Division rival Philadelphia. While the specifics are unknown, Crosby did suffer a "stinger" after colliding with teammate Chris Kunitz Monday against Boston.

His absense was described as precautionary by general manager Ray Shero, after it was made clear that the ImpACT tests Crosby took with Dr. Micky Collins--which help monitor concusssions--"showed no problems."

Even though early reports don't suggest a serious setback, Crosby's fantasy hockey impact ought to be carefully reviewed.

One can't knock his debut performance against the New York Islanders Nov. 21 where he finished with a four-point outing and followed it up with his most productive five-game stretch of his career. And, of course, nobody ought to forget his talent and production since breaking into the NHL.

The guy's an absolute stud.

But while Crosby's arguably been the best player in the League, one option for fantasy owners might be to seek a trade and get a lot back while setting aside the day-to-day worries of the superstar center's health.

Recent injuries should have Sidney Crosby owners considering the unthinkable; contemplating trading the great No. 87. (Photo: Greg Shamus/NHLI)

Think about it.

As the Penguins figure to be a contender in the Eastern Conference, it's possible that the team will treat Crosby with caution more so than they might in years past. Moreover, if you're able to land solid pieces in the trade, you'll need not worry about relying on stellar performances from "Sid."

The key, of course, will be bringing back more than complementary pieces to your team in a trade. But as you debate to keep or to trade, consider this:

Of his seven seasons in the League, four--including this season--have seen the 2005 first-overall selection play in at least 77 games. In 2007-08, Crosby missed 29 games with an ankle injury and, of course, everyone recalls his recent recovery from a concussion.

When he returned to the lineup, he did so at 100 percent health. This recent two-game absense may come and go as quick as Crosby disspelled speculation of potential rust before scoring on his first shot against the Islanders. Still, the 5-foot-11, 200-pound talent's durability ought to be considered.

The fantasy return for a Crosby trade could provide balance in many positions and categories for your squads. As crazy as the notion might appear to be, your duties as fantasy team owners is to think about it.

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