Kukla's Korner Hockey
by brianmetzer on 08/15/11 at 04:05 PM ET
Though Ray Shero issued a couple of statements last night via phone call or text to a couple of the newspapers in Pittsburgh, he officially met with the media this afternoon to shed some light on the Sidney Crosby situation.
Not that Shero has ever struck me as a worry wart to begin with, but his demeanor wasn’t that of a general manager who felt that he might be going into the season without his best and brightest star. If anything he came across as optimistic.
“I think he has progressed really well this summer,” Shero said. “He’s happy with his progress. Training camp is a month away, so there’s no expectation for me that he won’t be ready or will be ready. He’s doing his usual routine. He’ll probably be in a week before camp starts, and we’ll evaluate him then to see how he’s doing.
“All in all, it’s been a good summer for him getting back home and really getting back into his workout routines on and off the ice, so we’ll see what the next month brings us to training camp and of course, Oct. 6 for the regular season.”
Crosby has essentially followed the same summer routine that he typically does in getting ready for the season. The Penguins captain has been at his home in Nova Scotia working out with his personal trainer Andy O’Brien.
“The good news is that he continues to work out and has worked out hard this summer,” Shero said. “When he went back, he had a progression planned with his trainer, Andy O’Brien, that he’s gone through. So we’ll see where we are come training camp.”
Shero stated that Crosby hasn’t had to scale back his regime at all on or off the ice and imagined that in addition to training he has been spending time on the water and with friends. He specifically mentioned the fact that 87 enjoys boating and fishing, which he frequently does when at home. That isn’t to say that he is spending all of his time maxing and relaxing as he is still working hard.
“He pushed himself pretty hard this summer, which is the good news,” Shero said. “He’s never had to get to the point where he’s had to shut himself down or anything.”
Since joining the Penguins Shero has run the team as if it were a family business and that holds true in this situation. Sure he would like to see Crosby back on the ice, which he feels is in the cards, but he doesn’t want it to come at the expense of his long-term health, which is why they have been extra cautious in the situation. They will not put a time frame on Crosby.
“The thing for me and for the organization is the bigger picture with Sidney Crosby, making sure that he is 100 percent cleared and ready to play when he does come back,” Shero said. “He’s not going to be pushed to come back to practice or play.
“I want to make sure a year from now, three years from now, five years from now that he’s still the best player in the league and take the appropriate steps and back him, and go from there.”
There are still seven weeks before the start of the season, a significant chunk of time that will allow Crosby to progress even further.
At this point, Crosby will continue his routine back in Nova Scotia, communicate with Ray Shero and the coaching staff on issues as they come up and make his return to Pittsburgh about a week before camp opens at the Consol Energy Center.
Though Shero had nothing ground breaking this afternoon, it was nice to hear that Crosby hasn’t suffered a setback significant enough to force a scale back in his training routine. Let’s hope for the Penguins’ and the National Hockey League’s sake that he is ready to return when the season kicks off on October 6, 2011 in Vancouver.
* * * * * *
….Shero has become an expert of sorts on concussions going through this process with not only Sidney Crosby, but his own son, who suffered a significant concussion during this past hockey season. … Shero didn’t want to comment on the fact that the Islanders are glorifying the February 11, 2011 slug fest with the Penguins by holding a “watch party” with prizes etc. All the GM would say is that the Penguins have moved on from that game and that the Islanders have a great young team and should be focusing on that.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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