The desert has been a hotbed of hockey activity lately.
On Tuesday, prospective owner Greg Jamison moved one huge, crucial step closer to buying the Phoenix Coyotes and, that same day, a collection of locked-out NHLers descended on Scottsdale for an impromptu camp.
Here’s more, from the Arizona Republic:
The Ice Den in Scottsdale has been the lockout destination for many Coyotes players, but now they’ve recruited some of their peers from around the league to participate in training sessions this week.
About 30 players are practicing and scrimmaging against each other. Only a handful of players will skate on Wednesday, but the entire group — which has been split up into two teams — will be back on the ice Thursday and Friday. Penguins star Sidney Crosby is expected to join the skates at the end of the week.
“Word’s getting out it’s a pretty good spot to be during this time,” Coyotes captain Shane Doan said.
As far as informal skates go, the Scottsdale one is pretty good.
Goalies: Ryan Miller, Mike Smith
Defensemen: Keith Yandle, Zbynek Michalek, Adrian Aucoin, Ryan Whitney, Mike Komisarek
Forwards: Crosby, Doan, Patrick Marleau, Dan Cleary, Steve Ott, Brenden Morrow, Ray Whitney, Steve Sullivan
Of all the players in attendance, Crosby is (unsurprisingly) the one receiving the most attention — though it’s not just due to his star power.
Talks of Crosby possibly jumping to Europe have been rampant, with some suggesting his involvement in the Scottsdale camp is a warmup to playing in Russia or, potentially, the Swiss league.
“Sidney is seriously looking at his options in Europe,” Crosby’s agent, Pat Brisson, told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “He needs and wants to play hockey. It will be difficult to go all year without playing after what he’s gone through the last two years.
“Over the next few days I’m going to make more calls and continue to explore Sidney’s options.”