Penguins Notebook: Sore foot doesn't stop Crosby
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Penguins captain and leading scorer Sidney Crosby said his left foot, where he got hit with a puck during the 4-1 loss Thursday to Ottawa, had "a little bit" of swelling yesterday, but he was able to practice at Southpointe with no problem.
He expects to be fine for the road game tonight against the New York Islanders.
Defenseman Sergei Gonchar, though, missed practice because of illness.
He traveled with the team to New York and will be evaluated today.
It was a minor transaction -- defenseman Paul Bissonnette this week was promoted from the Wheeling Nailers to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins -- but it was significant given the recent history between the player and the Penguins' organization.
Although early on Bissonnette, a fourth-round pick in the 2003 draft, seemed to have a future with the Penguins, they grew disenchanted with him because of lackluster play in the minor leagues and some off-ice problems.
When they cut him from the roster this year during training camp, they asked him not to report to their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre and said they would try to trade him.
When a deal did not materialize, Bissonnette signed with the Wheeling Nailers of the lower-echelon East Coast Hockey League. But not quietly.
"Hopefully, something will happen, and I can rub it in Pittsburgh's face," Bissonnette said in October, indicating that he thought the Penguins falsely led him to believe he had a realistic shot to impress them at camp.
In 28 games with Wheeling, he had three goals, 17 points and was even in plus-minus, earning him the surprising call to the Baby Penguins.
"I was a little surprised, but it seems they are willing to give him a second chance," Nailers coach Glenn Patrick told The Wheeling Intelligencer.
Bissonnette's bitterness seems to have faded.
"I just wanted to try to develop as a player, and maybe something like this situation [would happen]," he told the Citizens' Voice of Wilkes-Barre.
The Penguins' wives and girlfriends have been busy with charity holiday projects.
They assembled favorite recipes from players and personnel to publish the cookbook, "Goal Scorers & Gourmets." Sales benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
They also have helped each player decorate and fill a stocking for an online auction that will benefit the Children's Institute of Pittsburgh. Each stocking has a mini stick signed by the player as well as $75 worth of gifts that reflect the player's interests and hobbies, including DVDs, CDs, golf items and sweet treats.
The auction closes at noon Wednesday.
Some players have neither a wife nor a girlfriend but got help to assemble the stockings. Crosby, for instance, worked with a Penguins executive. Jordan Staal was assisted by the wife of former teammate Mark Recchi. Staal lives with the Recchi family.
To bid on the stockings or order the cookbook, go to the team's Web site, www.pittsburghpenguins.com.
First Published December 15, 2007 12:00 am