Sidney Crosby "probably is already ready to go" following concussion symptoms that kept him out for the last several months of the Penguins' 2010-2011 season, Pens coach Dan Bylsma tells the Associated Press.â†µ
Bylsma said Crosby has been cleared by doctors for twice-per-day, off-ice workouts, just as he normally would at this point of the offseason.â†µ
Elsewhere, Bylsma says that Crosby's workouts at this point in the summer have been "normal summer activity," meaning he currently isn't exercising any differently than he would if he hadn't had the injury.â†µ
In addition, there's more good news about fellow Penguins star Evgeni Malkin, who is recovering from a torn ACL and MCL. Byslma noted yet again that Malkin could have returned for some portion of the playoffs if the Penguins had beaten the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round.â†µ
Plainly, the Penguins need Crosby. They played well in the regular season without him, but sometimes struggled against tougher competition. He's a huge difference-maker, and it's easy to dream that the Penguins could have won the Stanley Cup if he had been available. The question of whether he would be ready for the start of the 2011-2012 regular season had been pretty touch-and-go before today, so it's great to see that Bylsma thinks he can play. With Crosby and Malkin both healthy, the Penguins are a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, even given their uncertainties at the wing positions.