The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without captain Sidney Crosby when training camp opens in a few weeks, as he underwent wrist surgery today. Crosby is expected to miss six weeks, likely meaning he will not be ready for the start of the season. Penguins GM Ron Hextall released a statement explaining why the surgery was done now:
This is not a new injury for Sid. It is something that he has played through for years. After exhausting all minimally-invasive options and much discussion, it was decided that surgery was in his best interest.
Crosby, 34, is no stranger to injury, having played in all 82 games just once in his storied career. Despite that, and whatever discomfort this wrist problem was causing him, the Penguins star has maintained a streak of at least a point-per-game rate in each of his 16 seasons. In 2020-21, he registered 62 points in 55 games, finishing tenth in league scoring and first on the Penguins. That earned him a fourth-place finish in the Hart Trophy voting, with 11 voters actually putting him second behind the unanimous selection of Connor McDavid.
While obviously getting this surgery earlier in the summer would have been better for the Penguins regular season hopes, Crosby still shouldn’t miss much time. Should he return six weeks from today, he would be absent for just four games to start the year, certainly not something that would put a season in jeopardy.
Of course for the Penguins, every game matters as they try to battle for standing in the Metropolitan Division. With Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang now all in their mid-thirties, the challenge of competing for a Stanley Cup seems even greater. With the captain out, it seems likely that Jeff Carter, a trade deadline acquisition last season, and Teddy Blueger, will slide into the top-six center positions for the first few games given Malkin’s own injury concerns. The 35-year-old Malkin underwent knee surgery in June and was not given a definitive timeline other than he will not be available for training camp.
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