Sidney Crosby Ruled Out of All-Star Game; Malkin Doubtful
The National Hockey League’s revamped All-Star Game will debut its enticing new fan-friendly format this weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina. However, the event will go forward with a significant missing piece in the form of the league’s most recognizable face and its undisputed premier talent.
Penguins’ Captain Sidney Crosby announced this morning that he would indeed be unable to participate in the league's upcoming showcase, forced to the sidelines due to a lingering concussion, believed to have been suffered during the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day from a now-infamous collision with Caps’ grinder David Steckel. Countering ramblings earlier this week which suggested he would in fact be able to suit up, #87 made it known to the surrounding media in attendance at practice this morning that he would indeed be inactive for the All-Star weekend and its accompanying festivities:
"People say a mild concussion, but I don't know if there is such a thing.” Crosby noted. “I think it's a serious thing and obviously it is frustrating being out, but it's out of my control. All I can do is do the things on my part that I can do to come back and play. It just takes time."
Penguins General Manager Ray Shero echoed his Captain’s sentiments, confirming that he was still suffering from post-concussion symptoms and although his condition is improving, a weekend of rest and recuperation, rather than a draining public-relations adventure in Carolina, would be better suited for his eventual return to the black and gold:
"Sidney is making progress in his recovery but still is not completely symptom-free. The Penguins organization has decided that he will not attend the NHL All-Star Weekend and instead will continue to relax and recuperate in the hopes of returning to our lineup soon."
As some may remember, this isn’t the first time injury has forced the Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia native to miss out on this event, as he also sat out the most recent All-Star matchup in Montreal in 2009 due to a knee injury.
In addition to Crosby’s absence, Pens’ teammate Evgeni Malkin is also unlikely to play due to an undisclosed knee injury and sinus infection which have combined to keep him out of the Penguins’ lineup during the club’s last two games. Should Malkin be scratched alongside his occasional linemate, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and blueline phenom Kris Letang would be left as the franchise’s lone representatives at the game, pending any replacements due to today’s announcement.