Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 01/23/09 at 07:19 PM ET
Transcript courtesy of the NHL.
Q. Just, I guess, a comment from you on your decision to come here this weekend. There’s been some talk that perhaps if you didn’t come, you wouldn’t be eligible to play in the Penguins’ next game.
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, my plan was to come here from the moment that I decided that I wasn’t going to be able to play due to injury. I’d had a talk with Gary Bettman as to the capacity of me being here, what it was going to be.
I obviously wanted to be here, but still want the focus to be on the guys that are here, too, and not the fact that I’m coming.
I’m happy to be a part of it. I’m probably not here playing like I would like to be, but it’s the second-best thing and I’m happy to be here anyway.
Q. Pavel Datsyuk and Nick Lidstrom will be kept out of their next game on Tuesday evening. How do you feel about that? And did you and Gary discuss that if you didn’t come and take part in some of the events, that that would be the issue for you? And I think you play Wednesday next week.
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, as for them, that’s their decision. It’s up to the player, up to the team in order to keep that in mind.
You know, for an event like this, for the All-Star Game, it’s important to get everyone involved in it, and on board, especially from the players. So I don’t see anything wrong with that, as long as everyone’s aware of the situation. That’s something that guys have to deal with.
As for me, I was planning on being here anyway. It wasn’t a huge issue, so, there wasn’t a lot of discussion with that.
Q. Do you agree with the rule in principle, though, that a player would have to miss the game prior or following the All-Star Game regardless of what reason they missed the game for?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, it’s tough. There’s always different scenarios. I think in the case of some guys it’s due to rest. You know, in my case it was an injury. There’s nothing I can really do with that. That’s something that everyone has to deal with whether you’re unlucky or not.
But, I think the standard for it is more towards making sure guys realize how important this is and setting a standard. I think there’s nothing wrong with that. We all have the honor of playing in the League, and for some of us we get the opportunity to come here, so I think that’s something that’s well understood.
Q. First of all, is it a given that you’ll play in the Penguins’ next game Wednesday? And besides fielding questions from us, what are you going to do this weekend?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Well, I think as for playing Wednesday, hopefully these five days of not doing anything will give me a chance to hopefully get back as close to 100% as I can. Whether that’s the case, I’ll find out when I start skating again.
But I think this is something that is going to give me the best chance.
This weekend I’ll try to be involved in everything but the actual on-ice things itself. Besides that, I think I’ll try to be involved with everything else the guys are doing.
As I said, the game is for all the players that are playing in it, but I’ll try to do as much as I can.
Q. I don’t know if you want to answer in French or not, feel free to do it. It’s okay in English. Is it tougher for you because it’s in Montreal? This is a team you cherished all the time you were young. So is it more difficult because of that?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, it is. And I think it’s an unfortunate situation. I remember playing Junior, and I missed the one in Junior, I hurt my ankle and missed the All-Star Game here. I remember watching that game hoping to be able to play in the NHL here one day. Was fortunate enough to do that.
But got another chance at playing in an All-Star Game, too, so to not be able to be a part of that, that’s something that’s tough to take. Like I said, I’m getting the second-best thing, I’m here, and I’m going to experience it. I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can as if I was playing.
Q. I’m not sure every player has direct communication with the Commissioner. How did that work out? Did you and Pat contact him or did Gary Bettman contact you directly?
SIDNEY CROSBY: Yeah, we just contacted him. I wanted to get a feel for what he was thinking, what was important for me. It was just good to talk about that, because like I said, I was happy to be here, but at the same time, you know, the game is for the guys who are playing, and you know, to make sure we’re understood as to what I was going to participate in and things like that.
Q. Just want to clarify, had you not spoken to Gary Bettman, would you have been here this early? Or would you have just come in for the Sunday?
SIDNEY CROSBY: My original plan when I got hurt and what I went to the League with was probably coming in Saturday and Sunday. I figured with the two events, you know, the Skills and the game itself on Sunday.
But this is something I wasn’t totally aware of, but it’s fine. It’s a part of the game, and I’m more than happy to be here.
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