Crosby craving competition, not scrimmaging

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The last time Sidney Crosby played a hockey game, his Pittsburgh Penguins were blown out of the rink, 5-1, by their most hated rival, the Philadelphia Flyers.

The loss eliminated the Stanley Cup favorite Pens from the playoffs – in the first round no less – capping a tumultuous season for Crosby in which a concussion limited him to 28 appearances, regular season and playoffs combined.

Think he wants a work stoppage to cancel the entire 2012-13 schedule?

The 25-year-old Penguins captain spoke to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Tuesday and expressed his desire for something more than just scrimmaging with locked-out teammates.

“You enjoy playing, but I think competing is what you play for,” Crosby said.

But at the moment, the best competition is overseas. And while a number of stars have hooked up with European clubs, most of the players in leagues like the KHL and SEL aren’t NHL caliber. Is that the sort of competition that would satisfy Crosby? That’s debatable.

At any rate, Crosby has no immediate plans to go overseas and remains hopeful the lockout will end before the NHL season has to be scrubbed.

“I don’t see it going that long, but there hasn’t been a lot of progress the past couple weeks,” he said. “We’ve kind of been at a standstill. Hopefully, it’s one or two meetings away, and everything starts rolling.”

In the meantime, it’s worth wondering whether Crosby could or would use his star status to push the NHLPA to make a deal.