The Penguins announced Wednesday that captain Sidney Crosby will miss a minimum of six weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist.
“This is not a new injury for Sid. It is something that he has played through for years,” said general manager Ron Hextall in the team’s announcement. “After exhausting all minimally-invasive options and much discussion, it was decided that surgery was in his best interest.”
The 34-year-old star will miss training camp, which is scheduled to begin in mid-September and is expected to be sidelined for at least the first week of the season. Pittsburgh opens up its 2021-22 campaign on Oct. 12 against the two-time defending champion Lightning in Tampa Bay.
This is not the only time Crosby has faced wrist issues. Last year, on Aug. 31, he had arthroscopic left wrist debridement surgery, per then-GM Jim Rutherford. He did not miss any time during the 2021 regular season due to the wrist; his lone missed game was due to COVID-19 protocols. In 55 games he notched 62 points (24 goals, 38 assists) but did struggle in the postseason against the Islanders. During the six-game series, Crosby netted just two points as the team lost in the first round.
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The 2021-22 season is slated to be a full 82-game schedule, and while losing their captain for a handful of games shouldn’t impact their playoff chances, the Penguins window is surely closing with its aging stars. Crosby’s long-time teammate in Pittsburgh, Evgeni Malkin, underwent right knee surgery at the beginning of June and his return date is to be determined around the start of camp.
Crosby, who is entering his 17th NHL season, has registered 486 goals and 839 assists in 1,039 games. This year should be a big one for “Sid the Kid” who is not only 14 goals shy of 500 and 75 short of 1,400 points, is also earmarked for Canada’s roster at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.