Reporting Bob Pompeani
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The NHL lockout has already seen the cancellation of all games in November and the Winter Classic could be on the chopping block as early as Friday.
Many players have opted to head to Europe to play until a new collective bargaining agreement can be hammered out.
One player who has not gone that route yet is Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who is still hopeful that something will get done soon.
“You just look for progress when you’re kind of waiting to see what’s going to happen and we haven’t really had much of that lately. Not a whole lot of news, but we’re hoping that this week brings some. We know with what’s happened with the hurricane and things like that it might have disrupted things a bit. So, hopefully the next couple of days, everyone has kind of regrouped here and we’ll be able to hear some good news,” Crosby said.
With more and more players heading to Europe by the day, many have looked at Crosby and wondered when he may make the jump across the pond.
For Crosby the decision involves more than just wanting to play professional hockey. For the time being, Crosby said he feels he’s getting good workouts in here and that insurance could play a role in the decision as well.
“I think it’s different for everyone, guys’ patience wear thin quicker than others. But, I think in my case with it being such a difficult situation as far as getting insurance and that whole process, probably a little more patient than going through all that stuff,” Crosby said. “I do believe that everyone’s head is in the right place and wants to make something happen here so you just kind of hold onto that and hopefully something happens. I think it’s different for everyone and in my case, I’m going to wait and see and I’ll know when it’s time if I get to that point that I say, ‘I need to go somewhere,’ then I know it’s time. But, I haven’t felt like that. I feel like I’ve been able to get pretty good skates here and at different camps I’ve been able to go to so I’ll just try to continue to do that.”
Last summer, Crosby was unable to push himself as hard as he normally would due to dealing with the effects of a concussion. However, Crosby said he has not had any setbacks and feels good about his progress during the offseason.
“It’s been a great summer. I’ve been able to work hard and push myself and I’ve had no symptoms so that’s something that definitely feels good as an athlete to be able to compete and push yourself and have no setbacks. So, the skates have gone well everything’s been good, so now it’s time to start the real thing,” Crosby said.
It’s no secret that Crosby and Mario Lemieux are close. With that being the case, it presents an interesting dynamic at the moment with Lemieux wearing the owner’s hat and Crosby being on the other side of the table during CBA negotiations.
“[We’ve talked] a little bit, but pretty generally. We can’t really talk about it,” Crosby said. “It makes it a little easier trust me. Makes it a lot easier when it’s part of the rules and honestly, we both understand we’re in certain positions and I think there’s mutual respect there for what has to be done and what you want as far as each side. So, I think in any situation when you’re dealing with this stuff it’s just better to get it done. No one really likes this side of things and I’m sure he doesn’t either,” Crosby said.
The longer it takes for the two sides to come to an agreement, the thoughts of losing the entire season become more of a reality. Crosby was encouraged two weeks ago when both sides made proposals, but it doesn’t appear that much came from those discussions.
“I thought probably a week and a half, two weeks ago we were going to at least heat up the talks a little bit with a few proposals being thrown around. I thought that would maybe spark things. I think that really, if you really think about it, this has got to be the last little window available to get a full season in. So, I’m hoping that desperations will set in here and we’ll be able to at least figure something out or at least start talks, but the fact that we don’t have much time left to possibly get a full season in, hopefully that creates a little desperation,” Crosby said.
Currently, there are no negotiations scheduled.