NHL Lockout: Sidney Crosby More Likely to Play in Europe

By Stephanie Lewark
Charles LeClaire – US PRESSWIRE

Like a lot of the NHL players right now, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby just wants to play hockey and as many impromptu trainings, workouts and camps he attends, it’s still not an NHL hockey game.

But unlike a few of those players such as his fellow teammate, Evgeni Malkin, it took him a little longer to seriously consider this a viable option for himself personally.  And like a lot of the players, he was more optimistic about the agreement being settled earlier on than he is currently.

Crosby recently told a Pittsburgh reporter that he’s considering his option to play overseas more seriously now than he was when the lockout began in September and admitted that it’s been on his mind more so recently than it ever has been.  How can you blame him?  He hasn’t played a full season since 2009-10 before suffering a concussion.

In fact, his agent Pat Brisson has already talked to teams in both Russia and Switzerland but wouldn’t exclude talking to other countries as well.  However, Crosby would get to play with current or former teammates if he were to opt for either the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) or Swiss League as Malkin is presently playing for Metallurg Magnitogorsk and former Penguins Jason Williams and Richard Park play for HC Ambrì-Piotta (and also includes Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens on it’s roster).

The longer this lockout continues and the more players continue to flee to play in Europe like Crosby is considering, it would appear to be less likely there will be a 2012-13 NHL season.  But you have to wonder, how many of those players plan on returning if there is an abbreviated season or even for any future season in the NHL?  And shouldn’t this be something the league is thinking about and shouldn’t that be enough for them to want to come to an agreement and end the lockout?

This would definitely not bode well for the league especially if one of the bigger stars, like Crosby (the face of the NHL), decides not to return.

Stephanie Lewark is a featured Pittsburgh Penguins columnist for RantSports.com. If you enjoy her articles / posts, you can follow her on Twitter (@steelcitysports), check out her personal Facebook page (via Networked Blogs), visit her personal Tumblr page, or stop by her Pinterest page.

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