Sidney Crosby feels the same way about the NHL's labor dispute as just about every one of his locked-out colleagues.
He'd like it to end.
There's little reason to believe a settlement is near given the major financial issues that separate the league and members of its players association.
Although the groups are scheduled to resume negotiations Wednesday and Thursday, those money matters are not believed to be on the agenda.
Crosby's desire to see the lockout conclude isn't the only thing he has in common with a lot of co-workers, because he is at least considering the idea of playing in Europe until labor peace returns to the NHL.
More than a hundred NHL players already have signed overseas and dozens, if not hundreds, of others are looking into the possibility.
Not everyone who wants a job in Europe will get one, however. Many will be turned away simply because clubs are looking for the most prominent players they can get, to have maximum impact at the box office.
For Crosby, though, it could be more challenging than many might expect because of the cost of insurance, an expense European teams have been picking up for most of the NHL players they've added.
Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, told a Canadian radio station recently that insuring a significant amount (though not all) of Crosby's future earnings -- he is scheduled to be paid $7.5 million in 2012-13 before a 12-year, $104.4 million deal kicks in -- could cost between $200,000 and $400,000 per month.
Crosby said Monday he could not confirm the accuracy of that estimate because he has left such matters to Brisson, who was not available for an interview.
It seems logical, however, that the combination of Crosby's future NHL earnings and the severe concussion he sustained less than two years ago would drive the cost of insuring him to a level many European teams can't, or won't, be willing to absorb.
"That [projected cost] is pretty steep," Crosby said. "That's not something that's necessarily easy for a team, to pay that."
Crosby was one of eight Penguins to take part in an informal workout Monday at Southpointe.
They were joined by a number of local players, including several from Pitt.
Turnout for the Southpointe practices crested in the mid-teens last month, and plunged to a low of three at the end of last week.
"It's tough," Crosby said. "We don't have a lot of guys here, so we're trying to make the most of the practices that we can. But it would be nice to have some more numbers, for sure."
Crosby and Craig Adams stayed on the ice after the practice for some extra work, as they took turns trying to stickhandle through a tight grouping of pucks before launching shots on goal.
It was the first session back for Crosby, who had taken part in the Southpointe workouts for several weeks before traveling to Minnesota in late September to watch his 16-year-old sister, Taylor, play three games in goal for the Shattuck-St. Mary's prep school.
He then moved on to Vail, Colo., for a series of workouts with his personal trainer, Andy O'Brien, and about 20 other NHL players, including Penguins alum Ryan Malone.
"It was a pretty good number," Crosby said. "Pretty much what a full team would be."
The location wasn't chosen strictly for its dazzling scenery. Vail is more than 8,000 feet above sea level, and Crosby said that even a relatively short time spent training at such an altitude has benefits.
"It's tough, the first few days there," he said. "You definitely notice it.
"But coming back, you feel great. Hopefully we start [NHL games] pretty soon, so I can get the full effect."
NOTES -- The other players who participated in the Southpointe session Monday were forwards Matt Cooke, Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz, and defensemen Ben Lovejoy, Deryk Engelland and Matt Niskanen. ... The minor league affiliate in Wilkes-Barre terminated the professional tryout contract of Michael Neal, brother of Penguins winger James Neal. ... The Baby Penguins assigned eight players to Wheeling of the ECHL. Forwards Tom Kuhnhackl and Dominik Uher, and defenseman Reid McNeill were in the group. ... Evgeni Malkin scored a spectacular backhand goal while falling during Metallurg Magnitogorsk's 3-0 victory over Amur Khabarovsk in a Kontinental Hockey League game Monday.
Dave Molinari: Dmolinari@Post-Gazette.com and Twitter @MolinariPG. First Published October 9, 2012 4:00 AM