Crosby on his future in Pittsburgh, Malkin and Letang.

Crosby on his future in Pittsburgh, Malkin and Letang.

The captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins speaks to the media after a disappointing end to the regular season.

Jonathan Larivee

The 2022-23 National Hockey League regular season will go down as a disappointing one for fans of the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise, with the team missing the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 regular season.

This has led to the belief that there will be major changes forthcoming for the Penguins ahead of next season and we've already seen evidence of that with both president of hockey operations Brian Burke and general manager Ron Hextall being fired this week as a direct result of the team's poor performance on the ice.

The big questions now though surround the group's core players with Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, star forward Evgeni Malkin and star forward Kris Letang being the most frequently discussed members of that core group. There has been some concern that a player of Crosby's calibur might not be interested in sticking around for a rebuild, but on Saturday the Penguins captain squashed those rumors when he reiterated that he hopes to be a lifelong Penguin.

"I’d love to. That’s been the case since Day 1," admitted Crosby when asked if he wants to remain a Penguin. "I feel really fortunate to have been drafted here. I have great memories."

Crosby also appeared to address any such speculation regarding his top two teammates, indicating that a big part of why he has enjoyed playing in Pittsburgh so much has been due to the quality of teammates he has had along the way. Although he didn't mention them by name, it was clear that Letang and Malkin were the men being discussed in this scenario.

"I’ve got to play with two teammates specifically for a really long time - so, I’d love that to be the case," said Crosby.

It sounds like if the captain has any say in the matter, Crosby, Malkin and Letang won't be going anywhere soon.