Though there has been no indication about when Sidney Crosby might make his triumphant return to the Penguins’ line-up, most seem to be pointing to this Friday evening against the Dallas Stars. Heck, I picked that game in Jesse Marshall’s annual pre-season roundtable over at Faceoff-factor.com back in September so I guess I am on board with that speculation as well.
Crosby himself poured some gasoline on the talk of Friday night when he mentioned that his playing on Friday was a possibility.
“That’s a possibility,” Crosby told the gathered media on Monday afternoon. “Just like however many games left there are (also are a possibility)… Everyone else’s guesses are as good as mine.”
Crosby’s comments though vague, do leave open the possibility of Friday evening, and transactions like those that were made by the team today add even more intrigue.
Both Dustin Jeffrey and Steve MacIntyre were assigned to Wilkes Barre-Scranton tonight on “conditioning assignments.” Now that might not be all that meaningful as neither has done a whole lot of playing this season, but stir that news in with the fact that Crosby and Tyler Kennedy are considered to be close and you have yourself quite a bit of evidence.
The Penguins have a glut of forwards and it was long known that they would have to make some tough decisions when Crosby was ready to return. These moves buy them some time and allow Ray Shero to take a couple extra weeks to make those tough decisions.
For the gamblers out there, Bodog has set odds on Crosby’s return. Here they are for your review compliments of my pal Paul Kukla.
NHL SPECIALS – When will Sidney Crosby play his first game of the 2011 NHL Season?
On or Before November 11th 3/2
After November 11th 1/2
No announcement is forthcoming on 87’s return, but the above is sure to make for an intriguing Wednesday and Thursday! Stay tuned for more info as if becomes available.
Here is the official release from the team on the “conditioning assignments.”
PENGUINS ASSIGN FORWARDS DUSTIN JEFFREY AND STEVE MACINTYRE TO WBS ON A CONDITIONING ASSIGNMENT
The Pittsburgh Penguins have assigned forwards Dustin Jeffrey and Steve MacIntyre to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on a conditioning assignment, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
Jeffrey and MacIntyre will remain on Pittsburgh’s 23-man active roster and will be paid their NHL salary during their conditioning assignment.
Jeffrey, 23, has played in six games for Pittsburgh, going scoreless while averaging 9:17 minutes per game. Jeffrey spent the first eight games of the season on injured reserve as he recovered from a knee injury suffered last season.
MacIntyre, 31, has appeared in four games for the Penguins, going scoreless with two penalty minutes. MacIntyre was signed by Pittsburgh as an unrestricted free agent on July 12.