Penguins captain Sidney Crosby met with the media on Tuesday, for the first time since being diagnosed with his latest concussion.
From that meeting, we learned:
• Despite the injury, Crosby feels pretty good and skated today. “I think there’s a really good structure in place for how to get back,” he said of his plan for recovery. “I feel confident and comfortable with everything, so just take it day-by-day.”
• How did the concussion happen? “[I] kinda got tangled up in practice on Friday, and didn’t really think anything of it,” he explained.
• Further to that point, No. 87 was adamant he did not suffer the injury captaining Canada to victory at the World Cup of Hockey.
“It happened Friday in practice. I think the team stated it happened Friday in practice so I don’t know why there would be speculation about it happening in the World Cup,” Crosby said. “How many people were here at practice on Friday? It happened. I’m not making this up.”
There’s been a fair bit of speculation about the World Cup, especially since Crosby didn’t participate in any of Pittsburgh’s preseason games following the tournament’s conclusion.
So, that’s where things sit with the Pens just two days away from their season opener at home against Washington.
Barring a miraculous recovery, Crosby won’t be in the lineup on Thursday and it remains to be seen what his availability will be for games on Saturday (against Anaheim) and Monday (against Colorado).
Curtis Lazar, who’s missed most of Ottawa’s preseason while dealing with mononucleosis, has been cleared for contact and assigned to AHL Binghamton in a quest to get him up to game speed, the club announced on Tuesday.
Per the Ottawa Sun, GM Pierre Dorion said the demotion is “the best and fastest way” to get Lazar back into shape.
Lazar, 21, was diagnosed back on Sept. 23.
The 17th overall pick in 2013, Lazar scored six goals and 20 points in 76 games last year, all career highs. He averaged just under 14 minutes per night, and was one of the club’s more active faceoff men.
As history has shown, recovering from mono and trying to jump back into games can be a trying affair. Two seasons ago, Los Angeles’ Tyler Toffoli missed three weeks (six games) while recovering from the illness.
The last time Philly had two 19-year-olds on the opening-night roster was in 2000.
Now, 16 years later, it’s happening again.
On Monday, Flyers GM Ron Hextall confirmed that the club’s two first-round picks at the 2015 draft — Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny — have made the team out of training camp, and will stick with the big club for the duration of the season.
“They earned it,’ Hextall said, per Philly.com. “They’re here. They made our team. This isn’t a tryout. If I felt like either player wasn’t ready to be here the whole year, they wouldn’t be here right now.”
Both players are going to assume big roles right off the bat. Konecny, who led the Flyers in preseason scoring with six points, will skate on the second line alongside Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek.
Provorov will play on a defensive pairing with veteran Mark Streit.
These are exciting times for the Flyers. The club will head into the season boasting some incredibly bright young talents — Konecny and Provorov are part of a group that includes Calder finalist Shayne Gostisbehere (23 years old), Couturier (23), Nick Cousins (23) and the injured Scott Laughton (21).
First Ray, now Rene and Gabriel.
The Colorado Avalanche added to their collection of Bourques on Monday, inking both Gabriel Bourque and Rene Bourque after the pair participated in training camp on professional tryouts.
Rene, 34, landed his contract after leading the club in preseason scoring, with a goal and four points in five games. Gabriel, 26, had a single assist in four contests.
Not long after signing Gabriel, the Avs placed him on waivers.
In other moves out of Denver today, the team sent defenseman Duncan Siemens to AHL San Antonio and waived forward Mike Sislo.
Sidney Crosby, in the midst of arguably the most successful year of his NHL career, has been dealt a significant blow — on Monday, the Penguins announced he’s been diagnosed with a concussion.
More, from the club:
Crosby sat out Saturday’s preseason game vs. Columbus because he was not feeling well, and missed practice today to undergo concussion testing.
Crosby’s status will be updated when more information is available. The Penguins open the regular season Thursday night against Washington at PPG Paints Arena.
Sullivan added that Crosby’s concussion occurred on Friday at practice.
Crosby’s history with concussions is well documented. He missed 11 months of action in 2011 after suffering one during the Winter Classic, briefly returned, then sat out another significant length of time dealing with post-concussion symptoms.
He told reporters that, during what was a slow and lengthy recovery, he wondered if his playing days were over.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I thought about it,” Crosby said, per the Globe and Mail.
Crosby, 29, captured the second Stanley Cup of his career in June, winning the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP. He then captained Team Canada to gold at the recently-wrapped World Cup of Hockey, and picked up MVP honors at that tournament as well.