SUN Hockey Pool

NHL notes: Crosby ruled out of Pens' opener

Penguins' Sidney Crosby speaks during a news conference in Pittsburgh on September 7, 2011....

Penguins' Sidney Crosby speaks during a news conference in Pittsburgh on September 7, 2011. (REUTERS/Jason Cohn)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:12 AM ET

Sidney Crosby won't play in the Pittsburgh Penguins season opener Thursday in Vancouver.

Crosby, out since January with a concussion, has been skating with the Penguins during training camp but still hasn't been cleared for contact. He's been making progress in his recovery but clearly isn't ready to take the last step.

"In terms of him and his rehab, I think it's positive," Pens coach Dan Bylsma told NHL.com. "We play Thursday and it's a few short days away. We haven't progressed to the next level yet, so it's safe to say (he won't play)."

Crosby will go on the road with the Penguins -- they start with a three-game swing through Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton -- but doesn't expect to play before Pittsburgh's home opener Oct. 11 against the Florida Panthers.

"When we get back from the trip, maybe I'll see a doctor then," Crosby said. "Every day I just try to go as hard as I can. Hopefully things will keep going as they're going."

SHANNY CALLING

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Malone and Vancouver Canucks defenceman Alex Edler can expect a call from NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan.

In Saturday preseason games, Malone was given a match penalty for a check to the head of Montreal Canadiens defenceman Chris Campoli while Edler nailed Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall with a glancing elbow to the head and received a minor penalty.

Shanahan has come down hard on players who have violated Rule 48 during the preseason so Malone and Edler can expect further disciple.

BRIEFLY

Buffalo Sabres forward Jochen Hecht probably won't play against his hometown team, Adler Mannheim, Tuesday. Hecht has been out since suffering a concussion Sept. 18 and still hasn't been cleared for contact so the Sabres won't risk rushing him back for a meaningless preseason game ... Anaheim Ducks defenceman Matt Smaby needs surgery on his right thumb after tearing ligaments during a preseason game Sept. 24 against the Vancouver Canucks. Smaby, who signed with Anaheim in July after parts of four seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning, is expected to miss 2-3 months ... The Columbus Blue Jackets put tough guy Jared Boll on injured reserve with a broken thumb. Boll is expected to be out at least 4-6 weeks ... Former Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Garnet Exelby will be put on waivers Monday by the Detroit Red Wings. Also expected to be waived by the Wings are defenceman Doug Janik and goalie Joey MacDonald ... St. Louis Blues forward B.J. Crombeen will likely be out for a significant stretch of games after breaking his left shoulder blade Saturday against the Dallas Stars. No word on exactly how long the Blues expect Crombeen to be out, though.


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