Our current hockey climate is starved for its superstar, causing every morsel of news, and every tweet that starts with “UPDATE” to be heavily magnified. We want Sidney Crosby, need Sidney Crosby, and were left feeling empty when Crosby vanished from the 2010-11 hockey season shortly after his magnificent 25-game point streak ended last December.

We’re sure he’ll be fine, but we just don’t know, because you never know with head trauma. Add it all up, and a mini Armageddon occurs with every report of a potential Crosby setback, followed by someone in the Pens front office dousing the burning flames with their industrial-sized bucket of water.

Start filling that bucket again, Ray Shero, because CTV Atlantic has started another raging inferno…

Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson grabbed the closest fire extinguisher and denied the report, saying that his client hasn’t been shut down and hasn’t stopped his preparation for the upcoming season. Instead, Brisson noted that Crosby has adjusted his summer program to address the different needs in his recovery, according to The Associated Press.

This will be the standard exercise we’ll go through until opening night in early October. We’ve had premier stars hindered by concussions before, with Eric Lindros the first that comes to mind. But they haven’t matched Crosby’s elite, other-worldly status.

The offseason provides a buffer, and it feels as though once the calendar flips to September all bumps and bruises should be mended, and we can press the reset button to start up the NHL hockey machine again. Injuries aren’t supposed to carry over from one season to the next, at least not to the extent that they keep a player out of the lineup. When they do, doom is assumed.

Context and reality needs to be at the forefront of our perception of Crosby’s recovery. When the 2011-12 season starts, Crosby will be nine months removed from two major hits that caused him to miss 41 regular season games and the playoffs. The healing process here just isn’t that simple.

Crosby will likely play the bulk of the season, but he’ll miss games, and perhaps a sizable chunk. In the meantime the conflicting reports will continue, and the reality will lie somewhere in the middle.