Penguins notebook: Crosby nearing decision on playing in Europe

| Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, 7:10 p.m.

Sidney Crosby received quite a workout in Colorado's high altitude last week.

His mind was working overtime, too.

Crosby spoke at length with a number of NHL stars while working out in Vail and sounds closer to playing in Europe.

“Right now for me, it's more of a week-to-week thing,” Crosby said. “Each week you want to figure out if discussions are heating up. If things get close, that's great. If things are far apart again, that's probably not a good sign, so we'll see what happens.”

Crosby has acknowledged he almost certainly will play in Europe but only if he senses the entire NHL season will be lost.

“Guys around the league are trying to figure out what they're going to do,” Crosby said. “That's something I realized in Colorado. A lot of guys are on the fence about going over to Europe or staying here. Everyone has their structure, their routine. And the season is supposed to be starting now. Now everyone has to decide what to do.”

Crosby worked out in Colorado with NHL stars such as Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos and Phoenix's Keith Yandle.

NHL, union to meet Wednesday

The NHL and its union will resume labor talks Wednesday in New York, but core economics will not be part of the agenda, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Monday.

Top officials from the league and its Players Association have met several times over the past few weeks, but the sides have not made habit of talking about revenue definitions or split among owners and players since the league enacted a lockout Sept. 15.

The regular season was set to open Thursday, with the Penguins to play their first game Friday at Consol Energy Center. However, the first two weeks of the season have been cancelled, and the league has not ruled out additional schedule modification in the near future.

Talks between the sides broke down last week after discussions were held in Toronto.

The league and union continue to differ over definitions of hockey-related revenue and the divide of revenue among owners and players. The league maintains that owners absorb all the risk of business costs and also seeks a revenue split closer to 50-50 that exists in the NFL and NBA. The union, which collected 57 percent of revenue on the last CBA, is willing to a lesser share but wants to preserve all previously signed contracts penny on the dollar.

The Penguins' player representative, Craig Adams, didn't offer a promising forecast. He suggested the NHLPA has been far more willing to compromise than the league.

“I'm not going to get my hopes up yet,” Adams said. “We've been negotiating for a while. We've offered lots in the way of concessions and money.”

Malkin update

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin scored a signature goal during the third period of Metallurg Magnitogorsk's 3-0 win over Amur Khabarovsk on Monday. Malkin split several players before lifting a backhand while falling to the ice.

Former Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who also scored a goal, assisted on Malkin's marker.

Malkin has two goals and nine points in nine games with Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.

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