Posts Tagged ‘sidney crosby’

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby recognizes the 2021-22 Stanley Cup Playoffs could be the last opportunity for his club’s longtime core to chase a championship.

Teammates Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are set for unrestricted free agency this summer.

“As much as you don’t want to think about it, it’s something that you understand could be a possibility,” Crosby told NHL.com’s Wes Crosby. “I think you just try to enjoy it as much as you can, and try to take it all in because you know it’s something that’s not going to last forever, whether it’s this year or down the road a little bit more.

“You only get to play for so long, so I think just trying to enjoy it and be grateful for the opportunity that we have to do it again.”

Crosby (34 years old), Malkin (35), and Letang (35) have been teammates for the past 16 seasons, qualifying for the playoffs each year and winning the Stanley Cup in 2009, 2016, and 2017. The only campaign Crosby’s Penguins failed to reach the postseason was his rookie year in 2005-06, before Malkin and Letang debuted in the NHL.

Although they’re well into their 30s, the trio is still the engine that drives the Penguins.

2021-22 stats

PLAYERGPPTSATOI
Crosby688420:01
Malkin404018:25
Letang776725:48

Malkin currently carries a $9.5-million average annual value, while Letang earns $7.25 million per season. Both high-profile players could command big-ticket contracts on the open market, but the Penguins could attempt to retain the pair of superstars. Pittsburgh has more than $29 million in projected cap space this offseason, according to CapFriendly.

Crosby is signed through 2024-25 at a yearly cap hit of $8.7 million.

The Penguins currently sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 101 points and one game remaining. The Washington Capitals are hot in pursuit of their archrivals with 100 points of their own and a game in hand.

Sidney Crosby achieved a career benchmark and joined some impressive company Sunday when he scored in overtime to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Nashville Predators.

Crosby skillfully tapped home a slap pass from Rickard Rakell in the extra frame.

The Penguins captain became the seventh-fastest player in NHL history to notch 1,400 points, and he accomplished the feat in his 1,100th game.

Like the rest of the hockey world, Sidney Crosby is in awe of what Connor McDavid is doing on a nightly basis this season.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain had nothing but praise for his Edmonton Oilers counterpart ahead of their marquee matchup Wednesday.

“He’s playing at such a high level, and when someone is playing at the level he’s at, it’s hard to think that they can find another level,” Crosby said, according to NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger. “I think he’s done that. I think that’s the most impressive part about it.”

McDavid’s notched 36 points in 20 games this season, good for third in the league’s scoring race. His seemingly weekly highlight-reel goals have earned Crosby’s admiration.

“I think it’s an appreciation for how difficult it is to make the plays that he does,” Crosby said. “The one against New York, that was late in the game too, it was the tying goal. That’s the fun part. You don’t want to be on the other side of that if you’re on the ice, but you have a certain level of appreciation.

“That’s fun to see. It’s great for the game and it’s great to see someone at that level doing what he’s doing.”

Crosby is referring to McDavid’s showstopper against the New York Rangers from early November.

Crosby is off to a relatively slow start this season after undergoing offseason wrist surgery and battling COVID-19. The 34-year-old’s notched seven points in 10 games.

McDavid has outscored Crosby 10-4 in head-to-head matchups, but the Penguins have gone 6-0-1 in those games.

The Oilers enter Wednesday’s tilt sitting second in the Pacific Division at 15-5-0, while the Penguins occupy fourth in the Metropolitan Division at 10-7-5. The puck drops at 10 p.m. ET.

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby tested positive for COVID-19, head coach Mike Sullivan announced Wednesday.

Defenseman Brian Dumoulin also tested positive. Sullivan added that Crosby is displaying mild symptoms and Dumoulin is currently asymptomatic.

Symptomatic players are typically expected to miss at least 10 days.

Defensemen Marcus Pettersson and Chad Ruhwedel were placed in the league’s COVID-19 protocol Monday after testing positive. Kris Letang was present at practice Wednesday for the first time since testing positive on Oct. 23.

The Penguins have been dealing with COVID-19 cases since before the season even started.

Crosby missed the beginning of the campaign as he recovered from offseason wrist surgery and made his season debut Saturday.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said there’s no target date set for his return following offseason wrist surgery, according to NHL.com’s Wes Crosby.

The Penguins star underwent the procedure Sept. 8 and was expected to be sidelined for a minimum of six weeks, meaning his earliest return date would have been Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Crosby, however, was officially ruled out of that contest Thursday.

Pittsburgh general manager Ron Hextall said at the time of the surgery that the wrist injury wasn’t a new issue for Crosby, and the center confirmed that fact on Friday.

The 34-year-old revealed his left wrist was initially injured by Ryan Reaves in a game shortly after the 2014 Winter Olympics. He’d been trying to manage the issue over the past seven years, including undergoing a scope last season, before opting to get surgery, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Mike DeFabo.

“We all felt like it was something that I wouldn’t have gotten through the season if I didn’t take care of it,” Crosby said.

He added: “I’m hoping it improves it a lot. This last year – with the scope and just dealing with it – it became more of an issue. Hopefully, it can feel a lot better here and I can kind of put it behind me.”

He practiced for the first time since the surgery Oct. 9 and participated again Friday but, before he can return to NHL action, he would like to shore up some aspects of his game.

“I haven’t really had any force,” he said, according to NHL.com’s Crosby, “whether it be through faceoffs or lifting sticks. … Those are things I haven’t been able to do. When I can do that comfortably … I think that will be a big step.”

Penguins forward Kasperi Kapanen provided an encouraging report about the veteran after Friday’s session.

“I mean, it’s Sidney Crosby. He’s always going to be the best player out there,” he said.

The Penguins haven’t lost a game outright in four contests without Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, going 2-0-2.

Two of the NHL’s generational talents have been tabbed as rivals since their first day in the league, but as the pair enter the latter half of their careers, Sidney Crosby is certainly rooting for Alex Ovechkin to break Wayne Gretzky’s goal record.

“I hope he does. I told him today that I hope he does,” Crosby said of Ovechkin’s pursuit, according to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. “It would be awesome. He’s in range.”

Crosby and Ovechkin are both set to enter their 17th season in the NHL this upcoming campaign. The two superstars have racked up countless trophies and accolades since their debuts and still perform among the league’s best.

Ovechkin, who will turn 36 on Friday, inked a five-year, $47.5 million extension with the Washington Capitals to likely close out his NHL career with the club. After signing his deal, he stated that he wants to play five more years to take a shot at beating Gretzky’s goal record. As it stands, Ovechkin needs 165 markers to surpass The Great One.

The Pittsburgh Penguins center said he believes Ovechkin’s booming shot and the way he plays the game will allow him to remain productive as he gets older, adding that he can “score anywhere from inside the blue line.”

Since entering the league in 2005, Crosby and Ovechkin rank first and second in points with 1,325 and 1,320, respectively. Ovechkin’s 730 goals also rank first, while Crosby comes in at second with 486 tallies.

Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby will be sidelined for a minimum of six weeks after undergoing a wrist procedure on Wednesday, the team announced.

Crosby, 34, will miss the start of training camp and likely time during the regular season with the league’s first game slated for Oct. 12 – five weeks away.

“This is not a new injury for Sid. It is something that he has played through for years,” general manager Ron Hextall said. “After exhausting all minimally-invasive options and much discussion, it was decided that surgery was in his best interest.”

Hextall added the procedure was done on the left wrist – the same one that Crosby had surgery on last August, according to Trib Sports’ Seth Rorabaugh.

Crosby appeared in 55 games last campaign, scoring 24 goals and adding 38 assists.

With three Stanley Cup championships, six All-Star appearances, and 863 NHL games under his belt (plus a whopping 142 playoff contests), Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang has pretty much seen and done it all.

Well, not quite. There’s still one more thing the 34-year-old covets.

“Four,” Letang said, according to Mike DeFabo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, referring to the Stanley Cup.

“It doesn’t matter how many years I’m going to keep doing this,” he added. “I just want to do it for one reason – that’s to win every year.”

Entering the final year of an eight-year deal that carries an average annual value of $7.25 million, Letang’s feeling confident in a 2021-22 Pittsburgh team that held on to much of its core.

“I feel comfortable saying we have what we need to be successful, whether on the coaching staff or player-wise,” Letang said. “We have the group to do it.”

The right-handed shot has spent his NHL career with “brothers” Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby and “of course” he’d certainly like to keep it that way.

“You hear about those guys who decide to go with another team trying to look for another Cup or bigger salaries,” Letang said. “The thing we built in Pittsburgh with Sid and Geno, I think it’s special. Obviously, there’s always an end to an era. I cannot predict when it’s going to be done.”

For now, things are looking good for the Penguins; Pittsburgh has made the playoffs in 15 straight seasons and finished at the top of the realigned East Division in 2020-21. However, the squad hasn’t advanced past the second round of the postseason since winning the Cup in 2016-17.

“At the end of the day, guys who have been together for 15-20 years – whatever it ends up being – is going to be on the small scale of the longevity of a franchise. You have to think about all the other years and you want to keep winning,” Letang said.

Ron Hextall doesn’t sound like someone who’s ready to hit the reset button.

The Pittsburgh Penguins general manager said Wednesday he believes in the team’s core of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang and is in no hurry to move on to the franchise’s next chapter.

The East Division champions are smarting from a third straight first-round playoff exit — this time a six-game loss to the New York Islanders — but Hextall will spend his first offseason with the team retooling around Crosby, Malkin, and Letang rather than rebuilding.

“We see a future with this core,” Hextall said. “These guys have been here a long time. We had a good year. It certainly didn’t give me pause to think about what we should do with this core. It certainly didn’t give me pause to think about what we should do with this core.”

Hextall added he expects to have all three back next season “for sure.” The same apparently goes for goaltender Tristan Jarry.

Hextall, hired in February after Jim Rutherford’s abrupt resignation, expressed confidence in Jarry despite Jarry’s shaky playoff performance. Jarry’s ill-advised outlet pass in Game 5 led directly to Josh Bailey’s game-winning overtime goal. He followed it up by allowing five goals in Game 6 as Pittsburgh’s season came to an abrupt halt.

“You saw what happened in Game 5, an unfortunate error there. And then Game 6 wasn’t the best. But I don’t think we would have been where we were without Tristan and we all have to remember Tristan is a young player,” he said. “He’s going to learn from this and he’s going to come back better in September.”

As will coach Mike Sullivan. Hextall said he and president of hockey operations Brian Burke are in sync with the two-time Stanley Cup winner. Sullivan emphasizes speed and skill in his approach, something Hextall doesn’t plan to get away from while allowing the Penguins might benefit a bit from a bigger lineup.

“Of course we’d like to add a little bit of size, a little bit of toughness. Yes, it would be nice,” Hextall said. “But there’s not a lot out there. We’ll look at what’s there this summer and we’ll make adjustments. But if we go into next season with this group we’re comfortable.”

That includes focusing on players who can make an immediate impact with Crosby, Malkin, and Letang all in their mid-30s. Hextall stressed the team remains in “win-now” mode heading into 2021-22. Pittsburgh’s streak of 15 consecutive postseason berths is the longest active streak in major North American professional sports.

“We’re comfortable with our team,” Hextall said. “We had a real good regular season and played well in the playoffs. That doesn’t mean we won’t look to get better. You always look to get better. If we can find ways to tweak things and get better, we will.”

Connor McDavidAuston Matthews, and Sidney Crosby are the finalists for the 2021 Ted Lindsay Award, given to the most outstanding player as voted by the NHL Players’ Association, the union announced Wednesday.

McDavid led the league in scoring by a landslide, registering a whopping 105 points in the shortened 56-game season. The Edmonton Oilers captain is likely to claim the award and the Hart Memorial Trophy as league MVP. He’s won the Ted Lindsay twice in his career.

This marks Matthews’ first nomination for the honor. The Toronto Maple Leafs sniper won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy with a league-leading 41 goals in 2021.

Crosby didn’t receive as much attention throughout the regular season as McDavid and Matthews, but the Pittsburgh Penguins legend was quietly fantastic. He notched 62 points in 55 games and carried a Pens roster that was decimated by injuries to a first-place finish in the East Division. Crosby’s won the award three times.

All three superstars were eliminated in the first round of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.