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Penguins Fire Dr. Charles Burke As Team Physician

The Trib reports that the Penguins have fired team doctor Charles Burke, and have dismissed EMS workers and "vision and dental specialists" as well. The moves are in anticipation of a new arrangement the Pens will have with UPMC.

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The Penguins are replacing their medical team as part of a proposed move by 2014 to a hockey facility in Cranberry that will be in conjunction with UPMC, sources told the Tribune-Review.

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The Penguins will use UPMC specialists to oversee medical treatment of personnel next season. There will not be one head team physician, but the Penguins will be only the second NHL team to have a physician traveling with them for every road game.

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It sounds like that might be the whole story, although Dejan Kovacevic thinks the change might have to do with Sidney Crosby's new long-term contract. (Burke worked with Crosby through his struggles with concussions.)

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Sidney Crosby's way-below-market-rate contract was followed almost immediately by the firing of Frank Buonomo, Crosby's longtime media relations man, and now Burke, too. Regardless of the merits to either move, it's glaringly obvious Crosby set some parameters beyond money in staying put.

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In either case, it looks like the Penguins are going in a different direction next year.

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For more on the Penguins, check out PensBurgh.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.