Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will be sidelined for the start of the upcoming regular season. The team announced that he'd be absent for at least the next six weeks after undergoing successful wrist surgery to correct discomfort that he'd been feeling for years now.
However, the good news for Pens fans is that Crosby isn't expected to be absent long-term.
“Sid had to go through a process of figuring out if this is the best option,” Hextall said. “’Can he get through it? Can he get through another year?’ That’s why it was pushed off to this week.”
“I believe it’s going to be close to the six-week window or slightly above,” Hextall continued. “I don’t believe he’ll be out longer-term.”
Of course, Crosby isn't the only Penguins star to gave gone under the knife this offseason. Forward Evgeni Malkin underwent successful surgery on his right knee in June; he had previously injured his knee in March, and was forced to miss the final six weeks of the regular season, as well as Games 1 and 2 of Round One of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Islanders; he's not expected to be available for training camp.
In fact, Hextall conceded that his Russian star may have to go on long-term injured reserve, which would would mean an absence of no less than 24 days and 10 games.
“Once he gets back here and sees the doctor, hopefully we’ll have a more definitive timeframe for him,” Hextall said of Malkin.
Speaking of Malkin, he's entering the final year of the eight year, $76 million deal he agreed to in 2013. Not only him, but stalwart defenseman Kris Letang as well as Bryan Rust are also entering contract years. Needless to say, Hextall will have his work cut out for him in the near future if he intends on keeping this group together as long as possible.
But can he do it?
“Can we fit in all of the players that we have now that we’d like to sign?” Hextall said. “I don’t have the answer to that at this point.
“Hopefully we can come to an agreement with those guys that’s fair for both sides. In the end, I don’t think either side is going to be jumping up and down. But hopefully we can find a middle ground there that we can both live with.”