The Pittsburgh Penguins were back in preseason action on Saturday and once again absent from that action was the organizations captain, Sidney Crosby. Now that on its own would not be a cause for concern, it is common practice for teams in the National Hockey League to keep their top stars out of preseason action to avoid injury, except that Crosby himself has never been a player that has seen much value in being protected during the preseason.
Fans around Pittsburgh will be no strangers to Crosby's legendary work ethic, and it is that knowledge combined with the fact that Crosby has seemingly become invisible during training camp that has raised some eyebrows. Penguins insider Josh Yohe raised some obvious questions today when he pointed out, correctly, that Crosby usually enjoys playing in preseason games and has even been on the record stating that he feels they do an excellent job of preparing him for the rigors of the regular season. Now the fact that Crosby has not been playing becomes even more of a concern, and on Saturday there was one additional wrinkle added to this story that I believe now makes it worth reporting on.
According to Yohe Crosby did not skate with the Penguins on Saturday even prior to the game, nor did he skate with the "non-game group," a skating session held for players who are being held out of the upcoming game. As of this writing we do not know the motivations behind Crosby's absence from the ice today, however Yohe attempted to investigate but received a rather predictable response from Penguins' team officials. According to that official there is "nothing to be concerned about," when it comes to Sidney Crosby and hopefully that will prove to be an accurate assessment.
The main concern here of course is that the Penguins could be hiding some type of injury to Crosby, but as of this moment there isn't enough to go on to suggest that this could be the case. However should the Penguins superstar forward continue to miss preseason games, and continue to be absent from skating sessions with his team, no doubt those concerns will amplify by several orders of magnitude.