SUN Hockey Pool

Pens' Crosby rules out heading to world championship

Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby (87) reacts as the New York Rangers celebrate a goal by...

Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby (87) reacts as the New York Rangers celebrate a goal by Rangers center Brian Boyle (not pictured) during the first period in game seven of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers won the game 2-1 and the series 4 games to 3. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 8:59 PM ET

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby won’t be added to the Canadian roster at the world championship.

Crosby told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he will pass on playing for Canada in Minsk. He’s already played a total of 99 games this season, including six at the pressure-packed Olympics, and presumably needs a rest after a disappointing exit from the NHL playoffs.

Crosby’s Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin, however, is set to join the Russian team, according to Russian hockey president Vladislav Tretiak. Malkin is expected to fly to Minsk on Friday and could play Sunday against Germany.

In other Penguins news, forward Beau Bennett will have surgery on his wrist. The ailment caused him to miss 61 games this season and affected his playoff performance against the New York Rangers.

TAVARES ‘BACK TO NORMAL’

The knee injury that ended New York Islanders captain John Tavares’ season at the Sochi Olympics has almost completely healed.

Tavares, who tore the MCL and meniscus in his left knee while playing for Canada during the Olympics in February, has been cleared to skate and will be able to fully train during the off-season.

“Everything’s pretty much back to normal,” Tavares told WGR 550 in Buffalo. “I was cleared last week to resume full activity, so I skated with the London Knights (of the Ontario Hockey League) as they’re preparing for the Memorial Cup for three days and three practices, and I feel really good.

“I’m just happy I’m able to put this behind me, move forward, and look toward next season.”

That’s great news for the sad-sack Islanders. Tavares had 24 goals and 42 assists in 59 games before getting hurt.

YEO TO GET NEW DEAL?

Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo will soon sign a contract extension, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Yeo, the youngest coach in the NHL at age 40, led the Wild to their first playoff series win this season, a seven-game upset of the Colorado Avalanche. The Wild also had 43 wins, third most in franchise history, and 98 points in the super-strong Central Division.

“I believe we’ve created a culture here, an identity, and an attitude, and they should be proud of that,” Yeo told the Pioneer Press. “But it never ends. You always have to keep working to keep that -- and more importantly to build on it.”

Yeo just finished the final year of a three-year contract he signed as an NHL rookie head coach.

MORE SURGERY FOR DOWNIE

Philadelphia Flyers forward Steve Downie had ear surgery Wednesday, the second time he’s had the procedure done since the end of the regular season.

According to the Flyers, the surgery on Downie’s right ear was to “alleviate a hearing loss issue.”

Flyers president Paul Holmgren announced earlier in the playoffs that Downie had one surgery on his ear to improve his hearing.

Downie missed the last 12 games of the regular season and the Flyers’ first-round playoff loss to the New York Rangers due to an undisclosed injury.

Flyers defenceman Nicklas Grossman had surgery on his right ankle, Holmgren said, and is expected to be fully recovered in 6-8 weeks. Forward Tye McGinn had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left wrist and should be OK in six weeks.

CALLAHAN COULD LEAVE TAMPA

Soon-to-be free agent forward Ryan Callahan could bolt from the Tampa Bay Lightning after just half a season.

The Lightning have made it clear they’d like to re-sign the former New York Rangers captain but the lure of free agency could be too strong for Callahan to resist.

“There’s always the temptation of July 1st,” Callahan’s agent, Steve Bartlett, told the Tampa Tribune. “You don’t get that many times in your career, especially at the peak of your career. Those are what you have to balance, the positive and all the good things he knows about Tampa, and what is his right, you have the opportunity to at least hear other people. That doesn’t mean Tampa wouldn’t be his first choice.”

Callahan was traded to Tampa Bay by the Rangers for Martin St. Louis in March after failing to come to terms on a contract extension. The 29-year-old is reportedly seeking a seven-year deal worth $45-49 million.

SHARKS CUTTING TIES WITH TWO

Looks like defenceman Dan Boyle and forward Martin Havlat have taken the brunt of the blame for another disappointing playoff exit by the San Jose Sharks.

General manager Doug Wilson said Thursday that Boyle, an unrestricted free agent, would not be re-signed while Havlat, who has one year left on his contract, would not return to the Sharks in 2014-15. Wilson will presumably try to trade Havlat and his $5 million salary cap hit.

Boyle had 12 goals and 24 assists in 75 games this season while Havlat had 12 goals and 10 assists in 48 games.

Wilson also announced that Brent Burns, who played on the wing this season, would return to defence next year.


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