EDMONTON - If he could, Sidney Crosby would have probably stayed out on the ice until game time.
However, with opening night ceremonies needing to be rehearsed, the Pittsburgh Penguins captain eventually had to make his way back to the dressing room.
A concussion suffered in January, still has the superstar on injured reserve, with no definite timeline on when he’ll be able to play again.
He was forced to watch as the Penguins took on the Edmonton Oilers Sunday at Rexall Place.
“I wanted to stay out there, the ice was great,” Crosby said. “It was just Jeff (Dustin Jeffrey) and I out there, we had the ice to ourselves.
“I just wanted to stay out there as long as I could.”
Having recently been cleared to practice, Crosby is trying to make the most out of every opportunity he gets to be on the ice.
He’ll be re-evaluated by doctors when the Penguins return home from their three-game road trip to open their NHL season.
“It’s been a good few weeks of feeling good, but the main thing is to feel good every day,” Crosby said. “I don’t think I go out there every day thinking about it too much now. I think it’s something that I expect, which is good and it’s nice to have that feeling and to go out there and not be thinking about it too much.”
Crosby was having a career year before being blindsided by then-Washington Capitals forward David Steckel, during the Winter Classic.
Crosby was hit by Tampa Bay Lightning forward Victor Hedman four days later, which put him out for the remainder of last season and the start of this one.
The Penguins began the season with wins in Vancouver and Calgary.
“It’s tough to watch, I’ve kind of being doing a lot of that for the last eight or nine months,” Crosby said. “I think that being said, I’m really happy to be with the team and traveling with them and going through a regular routine somewhat.
“Part of me is definitely upset that I’m not playing, but I’m really happy with my progress and I definitely want to get back as soon as I can.”