September 06, 2011
When the Pittsburgh Penguins hold a 12:30 p.m. media availability, the media usually finds out about it that morning.
But this is Sidney Crosby(notes) we're talking about here, and he's talking for the first time in months about his concussion rehab and future in the NHL at CONSOL Energy Center on Wednesday; hence, the announcement was made over 24 hours earlier than usual to accommodate traveling media, and conjecture about what he's going to say has been overwhelming.
We asked the Penguins if they would squash retirement speculation on the record; they declined, saying they wouldn't confirm nor deny anything about the nature of the press conference.
We asked if Crosby was headed to Manhattan for the NHL's media tour after this presser. The Penguins confirmed he was, but declined to specify where he was traveling after that (i.e. back home or back to Pittsburgh).
What we know: Crosby hasn't, to this point, been cleared for contact since hits from David Steckel and Victor Hedman(notes) ended his season in January. Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review passed along that "Crosby backed off offseason workouts 3 weeks ago after symptoms returned."
Since the Penguins are inviting speculation, let's speculate: Crosby's presser will likely detail his summer of recovery and setbacks. It will touch on the NHL's efforts to police the types of hits that Crosby suffered via a revamped Rule 48.
He could announce he'll miss the start of training camp -- something that wouldn't surprise anyone. He may announce he'll miss the start of the regular season. The doomsday scenario for hockey fans: He's taking a year away from the NHL to reconsider his health and his career, perhaps even on the advice of his family. (He's due $16 million through 2013; he's not retiring.)
Whoa, let's back away from the ledge … Crosby will probably just go on the record about his rehab. Hard to imagine anything of considerable consequence dropping in Pittsburgh before Sid goes to an NHL junket in New York.
Acknowledging how unwieldy open forums regarding Sidney Crosby can become on this blog, we ask you this: What do you expect Sid to say at his press conference?