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Crosby says he ignored concussion controversy during playoffs

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby after taking a hit from Washington Capitals’ Matt Niskanen during the first period of Game 3 in an NHL Stanley Cup Eastern Conference semifinal game on Monday, May 1, 2017.

Gene J. Puskar/The Associated Press

Sidney Crosby says he wasn't paying attention to those questioning whether he should continue playing hockey after suffering another concussion during this spring's NHL playoffs.

Speaking to reporters at his annual hockey camp in his hometown of Cole Harbour, N.S., Crosby says he was too focused on capturing another Stanley Cup for his Pittsburgh Penguins to worry about outside opinions on his health.

Crosby has suffered multiple concussions during his career, including one during Game 3 of the second round of the post-season in May.

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He missed one game before returning for Game 5, prompting questions from concussion experts and at least one former player about whether he should consider retirement.

But Crosby said he "didn't hear that."

Video: Sidney Crosby opens up about his concussions (The Canadian Press)

"I don't really read or listen to that stuff during the playoffs," he said.

The Penguins went on to win a second straight Cup, defeating the Nashville Predators in the final.

Crosby said he understands why concussions generate so much controversy.

"It's a hot topic," he said. "That's the nature of it right now."

Crosby said more information on how to deal with head injuries is becoming available all the time, even compared to when he suffered his first concussion about six years ago.

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"There wasn't a protocol. There wasn't a lot of information out there as far as how to handle them. They're such a tough injury in terms of symptoms, and everybody is different," he said.

"I think as players, we've become more educated... You have to continue to listen to your body to make sure before you go back that you're good to go."

Crosby said long seasons mean there is not much recovery time during the summer months.

"You have to find out how to manage that. I started back training this week so it's exciting to get back at it but at the same time, you realize you don't have a lot of time," he said.

Crosby's annual hockey camp for boys and girls age 9-12 benefits his foundation for underprivileged kids.

Crosby stopped by the camp Wednesday to help coach some young players, donning a navy blue jacket and ball cap, both emblazoned with his hockey school's logo.

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