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NHL notes: Crosby coming to Vancouver

Penguins forward Sidney Crosby is greeted by fans while walking out to the rink for practice ahead...

Penguins forward Sidney Crosby is greeted by fans while walking out to the rink for practice ahead of the 2011 NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Penn., Dec. 31, 2010. (JAMIE SQUIRE/Getty Images/AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:43 PM ET

Attention Vancouver Canucks fans: Sidney Crosby is coming to town.

But there's a caveat.

Crosby is expected to be with the Pittsburgh Penguins when they travel to Vancouver for their NHL season-opener Oct. 6 but there's a good chance he won't play. Crosby has been recovering from a concussion he received in early January and still hasn't been cleared for contact, even though he's been skating with the Pens.

"Obviously I'd love to go, but that's something I'll talk to Dan and everyone involved about to make sure that whatever it is, I end up doing is the best for everyone," Crosby said on NHL.com. "I think that's the discussion we'll have here pretty soon. I enjoy being around the team and I would like to be there."

The good news for Penguins fans is that Crosby hasn't had any setbacks since traiing camp started. He's been skating hard throughout camp but there is still no firm timetable for his return.

Crosby has said the only way he won't go on the road with the Pens for their three-game western swing that starts the season is if doctors tell him to stay home.

"Everything seems to be coming slowly, but I think that each day all of that gets better and better," Crosby said.

STAAL BOUND FOR EUROPE?

Injured defenceman Marc Staal could join the New York Rangers on their European adventure.

Staal, who has been sidelined due to post-concussion symptoms, will skate with the Rangers AHL team Friday. If that goes well, he could join his teammates in Europe prior to New York's season opener against the Los Angeles Kings in Stockholm.

"It feels better today," Rangers coach John Tortorella said on NHL.com. "I think we're hoping he's going to practice with Hartford on Friday. We'll see how he reacts and hopefully, if it's positive results, we'll get him out here."

The Rangers play a preseason game in Gothenburg, Sweden, Friday then head to Bratislava, Slovakia, and Zug, Switzerland, for games Sunday and Monday.

LONG ARM OF THE LAW

A trip to the minors won't prevent forwards J.F. Jacques and and Tom Sestito from sitting out NHL-imposed bans.

Jacques was suspended for the remainder of the NHL preseason and five regular-season games while with the Anaheim Ducks while Sestito picked up a ban of two and two with the Philadelphia Flyers. Both have since been sent to AHL teams but that doesn't mean they'll escape punishment.

The AHL ruled Thursday that Jacques is "ineligible to play" until Oct. 15 while Sestito can't suit up until Oct. 9. But their AHL discipline has not effect on what the NHL handed down so they will be suspended if called up by their parent NHL team.

"A player who is under suspension in another league or organization who seeks to play in the AHL while under that suspension will have the relevant disciplinary matter independently reviewed by the president of the American Hockey League, who may in his discretion deem the player ineligible." the AHL said in a statement.

BRIEFLY

The Minnesota Wild claimed forward Nick Johnson on waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 25-year-old must stay on the Wild roster or go through waivers if he's sent to Minny's AHL team in Houston ... Philadelphia Flyers goalie Michael Leighton has been put on waivers, according to broadstreethockey.com. If he clears, he'll be assigned to Adirondack of the AHL ... Forward Zach Boychuk, the Carolina Hurricanes' first-round draft pick in 2008, was sent to Charlotte of the AHL. Boychuk had four goals and three assists in 23 games with the 'Canes last season ... The Buffalo Sabres are trying to work out a deal that would allow them to send forward Ales Kotalik to an unnamed team in Europe. Kotalik cleared waivers Monday but did not report to the Sabres' AHL affiliate in Rochester.


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