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Crosby top sports story of the year; TSN.ca users vote Jets

TSN.ca Staff

12/24/2011 8:39:18 PM

The past twelve months were filled with huge stories that brought monumental moments. But one story stood out from the rest - with Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby's concussion and short-lived return chosen as the top sports story of the year on SportsCentre's 2011 Year In Review.

On New Year's Day, Crosby was knocked down by a Washington Capitals forward David Steckel late in the second period of the Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Despite being badly shaken up, he remained in the game. He showed no signs of a concussion following the hit and was cleared to play at home four nights later against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

During that game, Crosby was driven hard into the boards by Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman - and would not play again for over 10 months.

On Nov. 21, the game's biggest star made a dazzling and triumphant return, scoring twice and setting up two other goals in a 5-0 victory over the New York Islanders.

But the excitement was short-lived.

After being knocked around in the Penguins' game against Boston just a couple of weeks later, Crosby suffered concussion-like symptoms and was placed on the injured reserve list last week.

And once again, the hockey world is left wondering when Sid The Kid will return.

By contrast, TSN.ca users voted for a much more positive hockey story as the top newsmaker of the year - the return of the NHL to Winnipeg.

True North chairman Mark Chipman, along with Toronto billionaire David Thomson, kept the dream of hockey alive in Manitoba by purchasing the Atlanta Thrashers and relocated them to Winnipeg.

The celebration was loud, proud and long overdue as thousands of hockey fans gathered downtown after the National Hockey League announced its return to the city. A decade and a half after the original Jets left town to become the Phoenix Coyotes, Winnipeg received another shot at top-flight professional hockey.

True North Sports and Entertainment purchased the Atlanta Thrashers from Atlanta Spirit and moved the team to Winnipeg's MTS Centre, marking Canada's seventh NHL franchise.

But before the team could hit the ice for the 2011-12 season, one last matter needed to be finalized and the city held its breath before being told that once again they would be cheering for a team called the Jets.

It was like their favourite team never left in the first place.