Sidney Crosby

Crosby watch continues: Nothing new ahead… Yet


Crosby-Watch 2011 rolls on and today’s update is… That there’s not really much of an update. Instead, Crosby did his usual turn in practice and met with the press afterwards.

With the Penguins not playing again until Friday at home against Dallas and that date being preemptively circled as a potential comeback game for Sid, our curiosity is piqued and Crosby knows it. After practice, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi caught up with Sid to get the update from the man himself.

If you’re hoping for Friday you might want to cool your jets.

Crosby addressed media speculation that he would play Friday against Dallas at Consol Energy Center.

″I guess they know more than I do,″ he said, cracking a smile.

″I haven’t really thought about that. I’ve thought more about just getting through this week. (Playing Friday) is a possibility, just like the other however many games left there are (is a possibility).″

Always secretive, always leaving us guessing, always coy. Oh you, Sid.

We’re sure the Crosby and Dan Bylsma are tired of hearing the question, but that’s part of the deal. Everyone knows he’s close to getting back and since it’s been over 11 months since he’s last played a NHL game, everyone is in Christmas Eve mode anxious to see Crosby back in action.

He’ll be back soon as he’s working too hard in practice not to and as Rossi notes in his story, Crosby’s only missed one scheduled practice since he was cleared for contact in practice. Maybe it’ll be Friday, maybe it’ll be next week, maybe the week after, but it’s going to be soon nonetheless.

Sens demote former first-rounder Puempel

Matt Puempel
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Looks like Matt Puempel won’t be making the leap after all.

Puempel, the subject of Ottawa’s “looking to make the leap” profile during our Team of the Day series, has been sent down to AHL Binghamton one day prior to the Sens’ opener against Buffalo.

Puempel, taken by Ottawa in the first round (24th overall) at the ’11 draft, made his big-league debut last season and looked as though he’d stick around — only to suffer a high ankle sprain after 13 games, and miss the rest of the season.

The 22-year-old came into this year’s camp looking to secure a full-time position at the big league level, but was beaten out by Shane Prince for the final forward spot on the roster.

To be fair, contract status probably played a role. Prince would’ve had to clear waivers to get down to Bingo, whereas Puempel didn’t.

A former 30-goal scorer in the American League, Puempel is expected to get another look with Ottawa this season.

Report: Torres won’t appeal 41-game suspension


Sounds like Raffi Torres is accepting his punishment.

Per Sportsnet, Torres won’t appeal his 41-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The report comes just days after the NHL’s Department of Player Safety levied one of the longest disciplinary rulings in league history, citing both the severity of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ lengthy history of suspensions, fines and warnings.

There was some thought, however, that Torres would try to challenge the ruling.


He does have a history of success in that department. In 2012,Torres successfully appealed his suspension for a headshot on Chicago’s Marian Hossa, and had his punishment reduced from 25 games to 21.

Torres also isn’t considered a “repeat offender” under the current collective bargaining agreement, as his last suspension came in 2013.

Of course, part of that clean record is due to the fact he hasn’t played much. Torres has largely been sidelined by injury for the last two seasons, missing all of last year with knee problems.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman delved further into the repeat offender thing in his latest 30 Thoughts column:

If you read the relevant sections of the CBA, the league takes the position that the repeat offender status is only applicable to fines. Repeaters are fined on a per-game basis, non-repeaters on a per-day basis. (The former is more expensive, because there are fewer games than days in an NHL season.) However, if you go to Section 18.2, among the factors taken into account are, “the status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct.”

So, in the NHL’s view, a player’s history is relevant, even if longer than 18 months ago.

Should the report prove accurate and Torres doesn’t appeal, he will be eligible to return to action on Jan. 14, when the Sharks take on the Oilers.