SUNRISE, FL – Sidney Crosby will not play against the Florida Panthers Saturday night, coach Dan Bylsma announced after the team’s practice at the BankAtlantic Center Friday morning. Crosby skated in the practice, but has not yet been cleared by doctors for game action.
“There is no timetable and no date at this time,” Bylsma said of Crosby’s return. To avoid further speculation, Bylsma will announce Crosby’s status the day before each game.
Crosby was a full participant in today’s practice, as he has been since being cleared for contact on October 13.
“Clearly on the ice he’s a pretty good player out there right now,” Bylsma stated.
Coach Bylsma appeared frustrated with the fact that Crosby, a key player with the team since the 2005-06 season and the team’s captain, has not been cleared to suit up for game action yet, but he was quick to point out that this team succeeded down the stretch last year without number 87 in the lineup.
“Sid has been rehabbing with us, skating with us,” he said. “He’s a part of our team. But we know he’s not going to be out there with us. That’s something we’ve been doing for 10 months now. We love to see his rehab, love to see him skating around out there. We hope he continues to progress and at some point in time, rejoin this team on the ice.”
Crosby suffered a hard hit during last season’s Winter Classic on January 1 against the Washington Capitals. In the team’s following game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Crosby took another hard hit and was diagnosed with a concussion. While Bylsma said doctors do not necessarily travel with the team, they are in constant contact regarding the Penguins star forward.
- Florida went 1-1-0 on their road trip, with a 6-0 victory over the Dallas Stars and a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues
- Don’t Call Me Evgeny: The Panthers announced that Evgeny Dadanov will now be “Evgenii Dadanov” to reflect a name change on his passport.
- The Panthers recalled RW Michal Repik for Saturday’s game. Repik has spent the entire season in San Antonio (AHL), but has 55 games of NHL experience, all with the Panthers.
- General Manager Dale Tallon appeared on NHL Hour with Gary Bettman last night. He said the Panthers were being “too cute” at home, and kept it simple on the road (yesterday’s game notwithstanding.) He also said he believes that the 2011-12 Panthers are ahead of the pace the Blackhawks were on when he rebuilt their club in the late 2000s. They won the Stanley Cup in 2010.
- The Panthers now play four home games during their “Thanksgiving Feast.” Pittsburgh will be the team’s first opponent on Saturday, with the New Jersey Devils on Monday, New York Rangers on Wednesday, and Tampa Bay Lightning Friday.
- Fans can bring non-perishable food items (like canned food, rice etc…) for the homeless and less fortunate to Saturday and Monday night’s games. Fans will receive a 20% discount at PantherLand and one lucky fan each night will win a can of Campbell’s soup signed by Brian “Soupy” Campbell.
- Speaking of PantherLand, the renovations are being completed today and it should open in time for tomorrow’s game. Come early as a ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 6:00 and the store will open at 6:30. The new store features an entrance directly outside, allowing for more flexible hours, including non-gamedays. More information to come as it is released.