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February 28, 2006 - Primeau's season officially over

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My Keith Primeau Page

Primeau’s season officially over
PRIMEAU
PRIMEAU
VOORHEES, N.J. -- Today will finally be the day.
After months of speculation about the chances of former Flyers captain Keith Primeau returning this season to play for the Philadelphia Flyers, Primeau will make his final announcement at an 11 a.m. press conference at Skate Zone.

Primeau is expected to announce he will sit out the remainder of the season, as he is unable to recover from the severe concussion he sustained when he took an elbow to his jaw by Montreal Canadiens rookie Alexander Perezhogin Oct. 25.

Primeau has exhausted all possible options, visiting a chiropractor in Toronto earlier this month hoping against hope to be given a green light to resume a training schedule that could get him back into the lineup this season.

However no such clearance came. A concussion specialist in Montreal advised him to forgo a return this season and Flyers doctors told Primeau they would not clear him to return either.

 
While Primeau, 35, is expected to only shut it down for this season and say he will attempt a comeback in September during next season’s training camp, his future remains uncertain. With next season also hanging in the balance for Primeau, who has a history of head injuries spanning his 15-year career.

Primeau played in only nine games for the Flyers this season registering just one goal. He was asked by Flyers general manager Bob Clarke to make a final decision by the end of the Olympic break so the Flyers could move forward with any roster adjustments or trades before the NHL trade deadline March 9.

With Primeau out of the picture, Clarke will now have a little more leeway in terms of salary cap room to add a piece or two that he thinks the Flyers need for the stretch run.

It is expected that the Flyers now will have approximately $1.3 million under the cap, which could help them land both a defenseman and a forward, both of which the team has been rumored to be looking to acquire.

Primeau missed 21 games in the 2003-04 season when he suffered a concussion Feb. 12, 2004 after getting hit by former Ranger Bobby Holik. Once he returned, he played through at least two head injuries in the 2004 playoffs, one in the Eastern Conference semifinals against Toronto and one in the Conference finals against Tampa Bay.

Named the Flyers captain in 2001, Primeau reluctantly gave up that title last month to Flyers defenseman Derian Hatcher. The move was only supposed to be temporary, but now appears permanent with Primeau done for the season.