Dallas Stars Daily Links: Sidney Crosby Getting Tested for Mumps

With the silliest-named disease imaginable ravaging some of the league's top players, let's see if we can't find something to appreciate about this situation. Elsewhere, Ovechkin has a heart of gold, and Branden Troock scored his first AHL goal, twice

We here at Defending Big D are all about community service, so let's start off today with a helpful health fact for men playing in the NHL from a great little place on the World Wide Web called Web MD:

Symptoms of Mumps

The most common symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite followed by onset of parotitis (swollen and tender salivary glands under the ears -- on one or both sides).

Well, that's interesting! I'll even hand you a little rhyme to help you remember these symptoms: Mumpity mumps, achy with lumps, forehead is feverish, salivary glands indicate onset of parotitis meat cleaver dish. Now you'll always know if you have the mumps or not. Also, you cannot sue us if you get the mumps from reading this. I hope that is true. (Also, the mumps can be fatal in very rare cases, so getting properly vaccinated and treated is nothing to laugh off.)

One person who probably has already checked that Web MD page a few times is Sidney Crosby, who for some reason has been playing hockey and giving interviews while working on candy jawbreakers lately. Seriously, those glands are more swollen than [literally any inappropriate joke ever imagined could work here, just choose one you like].

Anyway, after that little glamor shot made its way around the world today, the Penguins decided that maybe the best hockey player in the world who has suddenly stopped scoring goals for longer than he ever has before might, oh, I don't know, not be feeling well:

Sidney Crosby will be held out of the Pittsburgh Penguins' next two games as a precautionary measure, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said today.

Crosby has not been feeling well. Medical specialists made the recommendation after further test results came back today.

"There is no indication at this time that this is the mumps, but we are going to hold him out as a precaution," Rutherford said. "We'll have additional test results in a few days."

The Penguins host Calgary tonight and play at Columbus Saturday.

A number of NHL players have been diagnosed with mumps in recent weeks. [Penguins]

Love that helpful little update at the end there. "Oh, and in case you read all this speculation about the mumps--the mumps--and didn't think anything of it, it's been a teensy-bit rampant lately around this league."

So it turns out that despite Crosby adamantly denying that he has mumps, the Penguins' medical staff decided that, given the massive outcry, they would hold him out of the Pens' two games this weekend and get him tested for mumps. I'm glad it takes a huge fuss like this just to get a team to test their star player for the same disease that has crawled out of Anaheim and Minnesota in search of other high-profile hosts. Honestly, would you even want to think of letting Crosby carrying a strain of mumps that might have once inhabited this guy?

As long as everyone can get through this mumps outbreak safely and in short order, I can get used to it popping up here and there (but not in Dallas, obviously). I don't wish it on anyone, don't get me wrong. I didn't get chicken pox until I was like 12, and I was absolutely miserable for days. From various descriptions, it sounds like a mumps victim (you just giggled, stop that) is basically a leper with influenza for about four days. That's something that should elicit pity from loved ones, even from the other side of the bedroom door. So, let's just get that all out of the way. If you have mumps, we are sorry.

But here's the thing: it's kind of amazing. I mean, we used to joke about the mumps whenever our friends vaccinated their children, right? Until this fall, the mumps always sounded like an Oregon Trail disease less likely than dysentery. Now we know better. And boy, are we glad that we do, because here are some of the silver linings to this viral cloud:

  • Learning that Ryan Suter is scared of needles, and that he used to spew that tired line about "sickness is mental weakness" like all those annoying people you work with who brag about never using sick time.
  • Getting a peek at the CDC Mumps NHL Website. [s/t to LHH]
  • Learning that I'm not remotely original with the Oregon Trail comment, but I'm not changing my sentence just because of some other person. Besides, this list is great. But not as great as this final one...

* * * * *

Okay okay okay, Saturday Links. Hey, maybe you should go hit the links today. The golf links! It's nice outside right now.

Branden Troock thought he had scored his first AHL goal last night, but it was called back after review. So he just scored a real goal 17 seconds later, no big deal. Texas has won three in a row after their 3-1 victory last night over Charlotte. Jamie Oleksiak played roughly 16-18 minutes per Sean Shapiro. [Wrong Side of the Red Line]

The Seguin trade was just one of many ill-advised deals Boston has made over the past few years. Here's an overall view of what the Bruins have gotten in return for shipping out Peverley, Seguin, Kessel, etc. [THN]

Tom Gaglardi has been fined $140,000 for "harmful alteration" of fish habitats during property renovation work back in 2010. [ESPN]

Paul Stewart says Ryan Garbutt needs to decide right now what sort of player he is going to be. [Hockey Buzz]

Alex Ovechkin is still the best forever, by the way. Most adorable assist of his life so far? [THN]

Reilly Smith is definitely enjoying his time playing with Patrice Bergeron. Seven goals so far this year for Reilly. [Bruins Daily]

Claude Julien thinks Jonathan Toews needs to protect himself from hits like Dennis Seidenberg's, and the league apparently agreed. Looks like my "Dennis the menace" bits will remain retired. [Puck Daddy]

Despite losing to Florida in the shootout last night, Detroit continues to find a way to be amazing even with Franzen and Zetterberg taking some time off, scoresheet-wise. The kids are getting it done, which is fine since they're in the East now. [THN]

Damien Brunner is heading to Switzerland after terminating his contract with the Devils. Still hard to believe such a promising young skater could find himself out of the league so quickly. [NHL]

Finally, here is some evidence that Alex Chiasson's shooting percentage is still regressing from his torrid start a couple years back: