Sidney Crosby will not attend NHL All-Star Weekend festivities in Raleigh as he continues to recover from a concussion.
"Sidney is making progress in his recovery but still is not completely symptom-free," Penguins general manager Ray Shero said. "The Penguins organization has decided that he will not attend the NHL All-Star Weekend and instead will continue to relax and recuperate in the hopes of returning to our lineup soon."
Crosby will miss his ninth straight game Tuesday when the Penguins host the New York Islanders at CONSOL Energy Center. He has not been cleared to resume physical activity. He says the time away has helped.
"The last few days have been better and they haven't really been as intense, so that's a good thing," Crosby told reporters Monday.
For a rink-rat like Crosby, the worst part has been the boredom of being unable to train or really do anything that he is used to doing.
"It's brutal," admitted Crosby. "You sit around and you can't really do anything. Especially early on, watching TV and stuff like that. I could barely do that. The biggest thing is just things that you keep for granted. Doing things that you do every day, like driving, that would set me off."
While Crosby's first career concussion was described as mild, he feels as though it is anything but.
"People say a 'mild' concussion, but I don't know if there is such a thing," said Crosby. "I think it's a serious thing and obviously its frustrating being out, but it's out of my control. All I can do is do the things on my part that I can do to come back and play. It just takes time."
Despite missing the last eight games, Crosby remains tied for the league lead in points with Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos at 66. Malkin is third on the Penguins in scoring with 37 points on the season.
"I know Sidney is very honored to have been selected by the fans to appear in the All-Star Game, and he was happy to attend the festivities two years ago when he couldn't play because of a knee injury," Shero said. "However, in this situation – when he has not even skated for two and a half weeks and still has not been cleared to resume physical activity – we think it's best for him to focus totally on his recovery.
"I spoke with Brendan Shanahan of the NHL office and informed him of our decision. Brendan was very understanding and offered Sidney his best wishes for a quick return to the lineup."
It's also unlikely that Evgeni Malkin will play in the All-Star Game as he battles a knee injury and a sinus infection. Malkin has been out for the past two games with his injuries and TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger confirmed that his participation in the All-Star Game is a long shot at best.
Crosby and Malkin were two of four Penguins named to the All-Star Game. The team will still be represented by defenceman Kris Letang and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.