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November 1, 2005 - Primeau Out With Concussion

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Primeau Out With Concussion


ComcastSportsNet.com Contributor

When the Flyers take the ice Wednesday against Washington, they again will do so without their captain.

Center Keith Primeau was diagnosed with a concussion on Monday and will be sidelined indefinitely. Primeau’s concussion is the result of an elbow he took to the head from Alexander Perezhogin in a 3-2 loss to the Canadiens last Tuesday.

Primeau played in the next two games but sat out Sunday's victory over the Senators. He started feeling symptoms in last Friday's loss to Carolina.

Primeau, who turns 34 on Nov. 24, is no stranger to head injuries. During the 2004 season, the six-year Flyer missed 21 games with a concussion sustained in a Feb. 12 game against the Rangers. Though no timetable has been set for Primeau’s return, coach Ken Hitchcock is optimistic.

“The player has to decide whether he wants to keep playing,” Hitchcock said. “I don’t think there’s any doubt in Keith’s mind that he wants to keep playing.”

Hitchcock said he and his staff will emphasize the importance of having Primeau protect himself against future hits.

“Our concern is that Keith has put himself in vulnerable positions to get hit,” Hitchcock said. “When you wear the “C” on our team… you become a target.”

Primeau is eighth on the team with seven points but is an important presence in the locker room and face-off circle.

“It’s definitely tough to lose one of your best players and a leader like him,” center Peter Forsberg said.

Forsberg, along with left-winger Simon Gagne, are one and two in points for the team this year, respectively. Gagne said Primeau’s absence will be felt in the leadership and encouragement he provides.

“He’s our captain. He’s the leader," Gagne said. "He’s the guy you listen to before games in the locker room. He’s the voice for everybody here."