While Pittsburgh Penguins fans would love to see superstar Sidney Crosby back on the ice for a full 82-game season this year, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.
This time around though it has nothing to do with Crosby’s health, but instead the current NHL lockout that is keeping the Penguins’ captain and his teammates of the ice.
Similar to his teammates, Crosby is itching to get in game action, but that’s not on the agenda right now as the players remain locked out by the league.
“You keep your ears on everything,” Crosby said Monday after a team workout at the Iceoplex in Southpointe. “There have been meetings taking place, which is a good thing. Right now you just try and follow it and hope something good happens.
“We as hockey players hope there is a sense of urgency to get a deal done, but all we can do is follow it as closely as we can and hope for the best. But at the end of the day, we are hockey players and we have to do our best to get ready.”
Crosby and some of his teammates have been doing their best to get ready in case an agreement is reached. With the preseason cancelled, that means leading daily workouts for players currently in Pittsburgh.
That’s normally the job of Jay Caufield, but with the fitness guru out of town, Crosby assumed the reigns this week. While the daily workouts serve a purpose, count Crosby as one who misses training camp and the preseason games.
“It means a lot,” said Crosby. “You do what you can out here, but it doesn’t replace playing a different team where you can work on things in a game situation to get ready for the season.”
While a veteran like Crosby still feels the preseason is important, not having a full camp could really have an effect on some of the younger Penguins making an impact this season.
“Camp is important for younger players,” added Crosby. “Adjusting to the speed of the game is a tough thing to do and even if camp gets scaled back a lot when this gets settled, it gives less time for young players to adjust to paying against bigger and stronger guys.”
As for now, Crosby isn’t looking to find a place to play just yet, like teammates such as Evgeni Malkin (KHL), or Marc-Andre Fleury or Kris Letang, who are headed to Canada to play in Max Talbot’s charity games.
“That’s good for them that they get some game action,” said Crosby. “Right now I think the travel back and forth would be a bit much.”
So for now, the Penguins captain will keep leading his teammates through workouts at Southpointe, hoping to get some good news from the league eventually.
“That’s all we can do,” said Crosby. “We have to prepare for a season. You just can’t flick a switch on and be ready to go when you get that phone call. There are guys playing in leagues to get ready. You just have to find a way to stay sharp and get ready.”