Crosby ponders overseas options
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That doesn't necessarily mean his decision is imminent.
In a brief email exchange Friday, Crosby, who has spent the past few days training near Phoenix, said he is "not quite ready to make that decision."
Earlier this week, he and agent Pat Brisson confirmed that a determination is near. Crosby also said Brisson has spoken with teams in Switzerland and Russia, but added that he had not ruled out playing in any particular country.
Brisson said he had spoken with European clubs that are willing to pay for insurance to cover Crosby, who missed much of the past two seasons because of a concussion and neck injury, but that insuring all 13 seasons remaining on his contracts with the Penguins is not possible.
Negotiations between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association for a collective bargaining agreement to replace the one that expired Sept. 15 broke off again Thursday, after two days of federal mediation failed to generate traction.
Shortly after it was announced that mediation had ended, the NHL floated the idea of having players and owners get together without involvement of any of the main participants in the talks.
That group includes commissioner Gary Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly of the NHL and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and union special counsel Steve Fehr.
Precisely how many -- and which -- owners and players have been invited to take part in such a meeting hasn't been made public, and the union's response to the league's offer wasn't known as of Friday evening.
The Penguins who participated in a player-organized workout at Southpointe Friday had a variety of reactions to that proposed meeting.
Player representative Craig Adams noted that the same owners -- primarily hard-liners such as Jeremy Jacobs of Boston -- have taken part in the negotiations to this point and suggested that getting others involved could be good.
"It might be helpful if we can get some other owners in the room," he said. "If we're not going to hear new opinions and things like that, I'm not sure what the point would be."
Defenseman Ben Lovejoy seemed a bit less skeptical, but feels it would be a mistake for the players to get together with the owners unless they have legal support on hand.
"I'll try anything," Lovejoy said. "I don't see the message changing all that much just because the top two guys from each side won't be there.
"I know if that meeting were to take place, the Fehr brothers wouldn't be there, but we would have lawyers in the room on both sides because that's how things are done. The owners are incredibly smart businessmen who have made decisions like this and have been in meetings like this before.
"We are hockey players. Some of us are reasonably bright. But I can't see it being a smart move for a bunch of NHL players to go head-to-head without our legal representation. "
NOTES -- Evgeni Malkin failed to record a point, was stopped in the shootout and won just 11 of 27 faceoffs in Metallurg Magnitogorsk's 4-3 loss against Dinamo Minsk in a Kontinental Hockey League game Friday. ... Florida Panthers forward Jack Skille, who played with Adams in Chicago, participated in the workout at Southpointe.
First Published December 1, 2012 12:00 am