Crosby, Guerin back Ovechkin on Games
Sidney Crosby and Washington rival Alex Ovechkin agree on this much: NHL players should participate at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
"Russian or not Russia, I can understand that," Crosby said Saturday in response to Ovechkin's statement last week that he would play for Russia at the 2014 Games even if the league opted against allowing its players to participate.
"We're talking about the Olympics here, celebrating the best athletes in the world. We like to think the NHL is the best league and brings the best players. Why wouldn't you want the best there?
"We feel pretty strongly — me personally, and all the players do — that it could be an opportunity of a lifetime, especially for those guys from Russia. That only happens once in a while."
Crosby is a lock to represent Canada in February at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Other Penguins expected to play for their country's ice hockey teams are center Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Sergei Gonchar (Russia), and defenseman Brooks Orpik (United States).
Russia refused to sign a transfer agreement with the NHL in 2007, and reports have surfaced over the past two years that the league may use its players' participation at the Sochi Games as a bargaining chip with the agreement expiring in 2011.
The participation of NHL players at Olympic Games is "the way things are now," according to veteran Penguins winger Bill Guerin.
"Every time, no matter where, we want to be there," said Guerin, who won a silver medal with the United States at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. "That's the way things are now. Pros play in the Olympics, and we shouldn't be any different. It's good for the league and good for the sport, and I think we should be there every time."
Hurts so good
No Penguins players could be expected to arrive at training camp at optimum health given their second consecutive short offseason. However, aside from forward Max Talbot's recovery from offseason surgery to repair a torn left labrum, few concerns exist for the club's training staff.
Gonchar needed neither surgery nor rehabilitation on his right medial collateral ligament, which was sprained during a knee-on-knee collision with Ovechkin during the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
"I've done pretty much every workout I've done before," he said.
Crosby, whose left knee was injured on a check by Detroit's Johan Franzen in Game 7 of the Cup Final, said there are "no effects there," adding he "made the most of my summer, and nothing really held me back."
Defenseman Brooks Orpik opted against surgery on a torn tendon in his right hand, choosing instead to heal the injury with rehab treatment.
As for Talbot, he reiterated yesterday his return would come no sooner than mid-November but more likely sometime in December.
Around the boards
Camp's opening practice is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. today at Mellon Arena. Sessions are open to the public. ... Left wing Matt Cooke did not attend the organization's White House visit on Thursday because he was at work on his family's new five-bedroom house in Canada. "I've made more choices with that thing in the last five days than I have the rest of my life," he said. "You kind of underestimate how much it takes to custom build a house." ... NHL Network will televise three exhibition games featuring the Penguins: Sept. 21 at Montreal; Sept. 22 at Toronto; and Sept. 27 at Detroit.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Based on glowing recommendation, Pens hire Agnew as assistant
- Penguins re-sign Megna, Samuelsson to 1-year deals
- Penguins are saying captain Crosby’s right wrist may need surgery
- New Penguins winger Spaling files for arbitration
- Pens hope to reach long-term deal with Brandon Sutter
- Downie: Joining Penguins ‘made sense’
- New general manager Rutherford, Penguins in favor of short-term deals
- Familiar Penguins faces say goodbye via free agency
- As top target balks, Penguins’ coaching search continues
- Penguins coach Johnston takes backseat during free agency
- Former Predators winger Hornqvist embraces recent trade to Penguins