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Crosby disenchanted with negotiations

| Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 6:12 p.m.

Sidney Crosby is hoping for the best but doesn't sound optimistic the NHL lockout will end soon.

The Penguins were scheduled to open the season Friday against the New York Islanders at Consol Energy Center. Instead, a few players will skate at Southpointe to stay in shape.

“This isn't what I wanted to be doing in October,” Crosby said.

The NHL and NHLPA met for four hours Thursday, but there was no breakthrough in negotiations. The problem is that the sides aren't discussing core economic issues. Instead, they talked about drug testing and other items such as free agency.

Thursday should have been opening day of the regular season. No talks were scheduled for Friday.

Crosby said he wasn't pleased.

“If you look at the offers,” he said, “I think they're pretty clear. We're willing to make a deal. There isn't a deal to be made right now. There's their deal. And there's our deal. They want their deal. There is no real meeting (in the middle). They've drawn that line. Hopefully they understand that taking a stance like that is affecting a lot of people besides us.”

Speculation has surfaced that the NHL believes players will relent by November. Crosby isn't so sure.

“We've heard that talk,” he said. “I really hope that's not the case. Everybody expects to negotiate in good faith. I hope they're not stalling because they have a certain date in mind. That's not the way to do it.”

Crosby craves playing hockey, but recent events have changed his perspective.

“If anything, (the concussion) has helped a bit,” he said. “Being patient, worrying about the things you can control. When I went through those things, there were a lot of things I couldn't control. You learn to stay positive.”

But there remains little optimism about games resuming soon.

“You ask a lot of questions,” Crosby said. “You wonder why this is going on. That being said, we want what's right.”

The Associated Press contributed. Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jyohe@tribweb.com.

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