Ray Shero: Sidney Crosby Had 'Step Back,' Not Setback

Penguins general manager Ray Shero spoke on Tuesday and gave some clarification on two of the hottest topics of the Pens 2011 off-season so far; Jaromir Jagr and Sidney Crosby’s respective statuses.

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On Jagr, Shero said that the team only wanted to open a dialogue with the player to get him involved with off-ice activities, such as an upcoming summer golf tournament to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Stanley Cup in team history. There was speculation that the Penguins were testing the waters to see if Jagr was interested in coming back to the NHL, but Shero says that was overstated:

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“We’d like to acknowledge his involvement with the organization, that’s really all there was to it.”

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Then there was the topic of a player under contract in Pittsburgh in Sidney Crosby. Last week news broke that Crosby was still not cleared and had not been skating or exercising. At this news Shero also showed some bemusement.

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Cleared for what, to be on vacation? He’s been away, out of the country on vacation, and hopefully having a good time. There’s no rush in terms of having a deadline to have him cleared for whatever. In this case the break will probably do him well….

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He took a step back it wasn’t a setback.

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Shero has a point here - the number of NHL players who are skating/working out at this point of the year and aren’t still in the Stanley Cup playoffs can be counted on one hand. After a long and grueling season, players need a physical and mental break from training, especially coming off the rollercoaster ride that Crosby’s been on.

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Crosby, it should be noted, was seen at the Cannes film festival in France, enjoying himself on a yacht with actress Jamie Lynn Sigler (of Sopranos fame) and teammates Maxime Talbot, Jordan Staal and Paul Martin.

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Shero indicated Crosby will be back in Pittsburgh towards the end of the month and will be medically reassessed.

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