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Bylsma says Crosby's status not a concern -- yet

Wednesday, 08.17.2011 / 3:04 PM / 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Bylsma says Crosby's status not a concern -- yet
ETOBICOKE, Ont. -- Penguins coach Dan Bylsma will not ask Sidney Crosby how he's feeling or how he's progressing until he sees him in Pittsburgh when it's time for training camp.

Crosby continues to work out in and around the Halifax, N.S. area, but he has not been cleared for contact and the Penguins aren't sure if he'll be ready to participate with the club when training camp opens next month.

"I'm not the coach that will say I haven't thought of (what it would be like if Crosby wasn't ready for training camp), but I think our team understands and knows how we're going to play when everyone is not healthy. Part of our success last year was just that."
-- Dan Bylsma


"Especially in the summertime, I try not to get involved in this type of, 'How are you feeling' conversation," Bylsma told NHL.com from the NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp, where he's serving as a coach. "There are things I would normally talk about with Sid and those are the captain's stuff like scheduling with the team. If I was to talk to him now, I wouldn't say, 'How do you feel today?' I would say, 'Where are you now?' I would ask, 'When are you coming to Pittsburgh?' I would ask, 'How many fish did you catch up in Nova Scotia?' "

If Bylsma comes off as easygoing in regards to Crosby and his lingering post-concussion symptoms, it's because he won't allow himself to worry about what training camp will be like if No. 87 is unable to participate.

Bylsma has a firm plan and schedule for training camp that will not change -- with or without Crosby.

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"In training camp you deal with partial rosters, split teams and six exhibition games and as a result you deal with different power plays and penalty kills," Bylsma said. "As a coach, I've always viewed those to see what would happen if someone wasn't in the lineup. You do different things and you do them knowing the two points aren't at stake. Leaving individual players out of the answer, that would happen anyway."

Crosby has been pushing himself in his summer workouts, but Penguins GM Ray Shero told reporters in Pittsburgh on Monday that he has experienced a few setbacks with symptoms after he pushes himself through a hard workout.

While that's not the information Bylsma wants to get from Shero, or anybody else inside Crosby's inner circle, he can't let himself get bent out of shape either. He has to think about his team, not just Crosby.

If Crosby is not ready to start the regular season, Bylsma figures he'll have seen enough in training camp to figure out the best possible roster he could put on the ice when the Penguins play in Vancouver on Oct. 6.

"I'm not the coach that will say I haven't thought of (what it would be like if Crosby wasn't ready for training camp), but I think our team understands and knows how we're going to play when everyone is not healthy. Part of our success last year was just that," Bylsma said. "For instance, we don't think we have to have Marc-Andre Fleury in net to win the game. We're totally comfortable and confident when Brent Johnson goes in net. We think we can win. We don't change the way we play. We don't say, 'Don't make a mistake.' It's the same type of deal with everyone else, and that's how we operated last year.

"We're going to figure out how to be a good team starting right in training camp with whatever situation we have with any of our players."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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