Let's cut to the chase... Pascal Dupuis needs to walk away.
I don't know anyone who wants to say it and I hate having to write this but like a boxer who has taken too many shots to the head, someone needs to step in and call this comeback over before something tragic happens.
Still, I can understand why some people think I should walk away. When I got cleared for contact, I think it was a little bittersweet for my wife. She asked me, "If you feel another clot, what’s going to stop you from hiding it again?"
The season started with an undisclosed 'injury' to Dupuis that caused him to miss the first six games.
Since his return, he's had to miss a game in Edmonton and Calgary due to concerns with his blood clot.
Then on Tuesday night against San Jose, he wasn't feeling well and missed the third period.
Josh Yohe of DK Pittsburgh Sports was able to get the usual reserved Sidney Crosby to speak on the record about his concern for Dupuis.
"It’s hard on us," Sidney Crosby told me. "It’s hard on him, too."
The Penguins doctors, new and old, don't exactly have a great reputation due to their mishandling of Crosby's concussion in the Winter Classic or botching Olli Maatta's shoulder surgery.
And what concerns me the most, Dupuis is a proud person and he's coming back to prove people wrong.
That pride might be clouding the team's judgement on how to handle this situation.
As for the hockey aspect to this, not having Dupuis available to the team in the third period puts the team down a man and puts more responsibility on the other 11 forwards to pick up his ice time.
Dupuis hasn't been productive on the score sheet as he's tallied two goals and two assists in 16 games, while averaging 12:43 TOI at even-strength. If he's on the third line, you can take that production with his penalty-killing and leadership.
It is a tough situation for everyone involved but one more incident and this team has to hope they have the chance to do the right thing, otherwise.... let's not think about the what if.