Mark Madden's fun. The Pittsburgh WXDX radio personality/hockey columnist interviewed Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero on Monday and gleaned some interesting information: Like the fact that Shero expects injured defenseman Kris Letang to return to full practice on Tuesday.
But the juiciest stuff was, naturally, the Sidney Crosby stuff. Shero said Crosby is visiting Ted Carrick — that chiropractic neurologist that "Sid's a big believer in, [so] so are we," according to Shero — to correct some balance issues related to his concussion protocol.
Will he play again this season?
"I think so," said Shero. "Whenever he comes back, we'll have a spot for him and he'll be a huge addition."
There was also the matter of that players' meeting regarding Crosby's absence from the lineup; a meeting reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, seconded by Madden prior to the interview and denied by the Penguins.
After a joke about his having led the meeting, Shero also denied its existence. But even if the Penguins had met about a temporary captaincy, Shero explained why it would never happen.
To reset: Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote an incendiary column about Crosby's recovery last Friday, that included news that "a group of players held a 45-minute meeting to discuss a temporary captaincy."
Here's Shero and Madden from Monday on WXDX:
SHERO: "Here's my take on this whole thing Mark, which I think is … Dejan wrote the article, and I only started dealing Dejan this year. I follow his stuff because I'm a big baseball fan and he was covering the Pirates, so I have a lot of respect for him. I don't think that meeting ever took place [in] our locker room. You know, I've been here six years. I know our players. I know our room. I don't think that would ever happen. But Dejan had somebody or some people tell him that a certain thing and he wrote something …
MADDEN: "I'm not gonna lie to you: I've had a lot people tell me the same thing. That the meeting did take place. It was a more informal gathering to talk about the need for captaincy, not as sinister as a full meeting [in the locker room.] But it seems to me something did happen."
SHERO: "My information tells me that it didn't.
"Irregardless (Ed. Note: Ugh.), Mark. No. 1, for any of that to ever be executed, in terms having an interim captain, it would have to be my decision. And I'm just saying that would never happen. And No. 2, I'm going on the information I got from our players and … this has nothing to do with Dejan or anything like that. I had a nice conversation with him on the weekend for about 45 minutes, went through everything.
"… We've moved forward. Pour team's moved forward. Our guys had a lot of fun with it on the weekend — everybody wearing the 'C' and Geno wearing the 'K'. I like our room a lot, and I've said that many times.
"We have a few A's [on the ice], whether it's Kunitz, Orpik, Malkin. These guys are leaders.
"The only thing I can say is that if I actually went to any of these players and said, 'I have an idea. I've been talking to coach, and we should have a temporary captain while Sid is out,' I'm telling you, because I know our team, there's that not a guy that would want to do it because it's Sid's team. It wouldn't happen. Which is why when the report came out, I didn't really give it much credence or much thought until I had to. We're 100 percent behind Sidney being our captain and our leader."
So there you go. The 'C' stops with Shero.