GettyHey, remember when Evgeni Malkin said Sidney Crosby could eventually end up in the KHL if the NHL players are locked out?
It went something like, "If the lockout is announced for the entire season, then Crosby may come. He loves to play and won't be able to live an entire year without hockey."
Geno was right about one thing: Crosby doesn't intend to stay off the ice while the NHL and the NHLPA wage labor war. Not after being limited to 61 regular-season games in the last two years because of concussion-like symptoms.
As he told the Post Gazette on Tuesday, he's feeling good and hasn't ruled out playing professional hockey in Europe if the NHL locks out the players.
From the Gazette:
"It's been really good," he said. "Nothing. I've been feeling 100 percent. It feels good to not have to think about that, and to work as hard as you want. It's been really good"
[…] He also confirmed that, because of all the time he missed in the past couple of seasons, he will consider offers to play in Europe if the lockout drags on. There is. Crosby added, no time frame for making a decision about doing that.
This could be an idle threat, of course, but let's not ignore its significance: The most famous hockey player in the world is willing to take his talents elsewhere during the lockout.
This isn't Ovechkin going back home to Russia; this is Canada's favorite son potentially boosting the profile of another league — and, let's face it, testing out his new-found health — while the NHL is at a standstill. Vincent Lecavalier left for Europe back in 2004-05, right after winning the Cup; multiply that impact about 100-fold, and you'll get close to Crosby leaving for Europe.
Wherever Crosby goes, you know hockey fans and media are going to follow. If it's the KHL, that's a great showcase for that league to an American audience. And hey, he meets the criteria!
Here we thought Crosby would ditch hockey during the lockout and take that part-time gig at SportChek:
One other Sid note: He was asked about the Pittsburgh Penguins' first-round loss to the Philadelphia Flyers last postseason. "I tried thinking about it this summer. Thinking about it didn't do any good," he told Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review.
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