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Labor Log: Crosby on ‘Sandy,’ Texas and overseas.

A quick hitter on this Monday, dear readers – and for those of you in the path of Hurricane Sandy, please stay safe. As Sidney Crosby said for a short piece that may appear in Tuesday’s Trib, the threats of these storms should be taken seriously.

“People have good reason to be worried,” Crosby said, recalling Hurricane Juan (2003) that had its way with his native Nova Scotia.

The lasting image of that storm for Crosby:

“For some reason I remember billboards being down and stuff,” he said.

Details of Hurricane Juan can be found here: http://www.novaweather.net/Hurricane_Juan_files/Juan_Summary.pdf

If the round-the-clock TV coverage of Sandy had not scared you into being a True Believer that repot on Juan should do the trick.

 

= Speaking of Crosby, he and Penguins teammate Chris Kunitz rejoined a group of regulars for on-ice workouts at Southpointe. They were accompanied by Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, Tyler Kennedy, Joe Vitale, Ben Lovejoy and team union rep Craig Adams. The two-hour session was faster in pace than most of the ones last week. Matt Niskanen, a regular at these Southpointe sessions, did not attend.

Crosby and Kunitz spent last week in Plano, Texas, training with a group of about 25 NHL players. Crosby seemed pleased with the time away from Pittsburgh – even if it meant not overseeing inside work on the house he is building in Sewickley.

“We had controlled scrimmages, tried to make it a little more game-like – had two lines on each side, played probably a half-hour, 45 minutes,” he said of the Texas training. “That’s as close as you’re going to get until you get intra-squad games in camp. Once you get through those probably a pretty quick preseason whenever we do get this figured out.”

Pay close attention to that last sentence. Notice that he said “whenever we do get this figured out.”

Crosby remains convinced there will be NHL hockey this season, even though the league has wiped out its November schedule and could cancel the lucrative Winter Classic Thursday or Friday.

In fact, though he will not rule it out, Crosby is not counting on playing hockey for any team but the Penguins this season.

“To be honest my hopes of that aren’t really that high,” he said. “I think it’s a possibility, but it’s probably not as great as one who doesn’t have to deal with the insurances issues that I do.”

Crosby’s recent history with concussion will limit his overseas options, he predicted. He has heard estimates that insuring him will cost up to $400,000 per month.

A reminder: Crosby is in the final year of his previous contract with the Penguins, which was to pay him $7.5 million in actual salary. (NHL players will miss out on four pay checks because of the October and November cancellations.) However, Crosby signed a 12-year extension worth $104.4 million in July, and it kicks in for the 2013-14 season. The Penguins had to get that contract insured because NHL laws mandate protect for the six highest contracts on each club, but Crosby could not be insured for concussion because it is a pre-existing medical condition.

 

= Hockey fix for yinz: Sam Rosen, voice of the Rangers, also does NFL play-by-play for Fox. He was in our fair city to call the Steelers-Redskins game on Sunday. He was excellent, as would be expected of a pro’s pro such as Sam – and so you must believe he was sending a subconscious shout out to hockey fans when he referred to the Steelers as the Penguins.

Or maybe those “Warden threw a party in the county jail”-threads the Steelers wore simply stunned Sam into forgetting his spot. He’d have rather been at Consol Energy Center, anyways; and who wouldn’t?

 

= NHL offices in Manhattan were closed Monday because of Hurricane Sandy, and NHLPA executives returned to Toronto late Sunday. No negotiations are scheduled. The sides last negotiated Oct. 18.

This is Day 44 of the lockout.

 

Cheers, and God bless to all those in the path of Sandy. Be safe.

Rossi

Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib

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