Penguins center Sidney Crosby, saying he hopes to be able to attend the NHL All-Star Game, today strongly dismissed a Canadian newspaper report that he might boycott that game because he is angry that the league did not appropriately punish the players whose hits left him with a concussion.
"That's not even close," Crosby said of the story in the Globe and Mail. "I'll be there if I can be there. I still haven't ruled out being there. Hopefully, the next few days things get better and there's still a slight chance I could be back for that. That's what I'm hoping. If I can be there, I'll be there."
Crosby, speaking for the first time in 10 days, will miss his sixth game in a row tonight because of a concussion caused by some combination of hits to the head by Washington's David Steckel Jan. 1 and Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman Jan. 5.
Steckel received no penalty, Hedman a boarding penalty. Neither was suspended or fined the by NHL. Crosby earlier said he did not like the hits and felt they violated the NHL's rules against hits to the head.
"It's out of my hands," he said today. "I can't control what's called and not called. If anything, it's frustrating being out, but that's not what fuels the frustration. The frustrating part is just not being able to play hockey every day."
He said even if he isn't able to compete at the All-Star weekend, Jan. 28-30 at Carolina, he will be there if possible to take part in promotional, fan and media events.
"I've definitely gotten better," Crosby said. "It's kind of hard to judge because it's not something I've gone through [before], but I feel like I'm progressing.
"It's kind of on and off. As far as symptoms, it's mostly headaches and that kind of thing. Once you get better, I think you realize how far you've come. Some days you feel good, you feel like you've had progress, and there's other days that are a little bit tougher. That's kind of all tied into it.
"The good thing is that it has gotten better. It's tough to really put a timetable on it, but I feel like I've progressed a lot, especially the past week or so."
Shelly Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1721