After missing more than the last 10 months of National Hockey League action, Sidney Crosby will return tonight against the Islanders.
To say it's the NHL story of the year so far would be a drastic understatement. While his return is garnering a lot of deserved attention, what about the expectations?
Before his season abruptly ended following back-to-back hits on Jan. 1 and Jan. 5, Crosby was having a monstrous 2010-11 season, recording 32 goals and 34 assists in 41 games. He had a strangle hold in the point scoring race, and was on pace for the NHL's highest scoring season in well over a decade.
Now that Crosby is back from his concussion, what do you as a fan expect?
On one hand, there's a thought that while Crosby hasn't played, he's practiced hard for a few a months and therefore should be able to almost pick up where he left off after a week or two, and that even with giving a lot of players in the league a 17-20 game head start that he could be one of the top 10 scorers when the season is all said and done.
Another line of thought is that Crosby will be better than average, but won't approach his 2010-11 numbers. That way of thinking sees Crosby finishing the season with 50-65 points and being a solid contributor to an already very good Penguins team.
There is also a fairly silent minority that hope Crosby will be able to stay healthy and avoid getting another concussion, but point to the experiences of players like Marc Savard, Peter Mueller, Paul Kariya and others who either can't or couldn't shake the spectre of concussions.
For now though, everyone can agree that the NHL is a much better product today now that Sidney Crosby is back.
You've read the arguments, now we want to hear from you.
Our question: What do you expect from No. 87 for the rest of the season? As always, it's Your Call!