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Ray Shero Media Conference: August 15, 2011

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins general manager Ray Shero met with the media Monday afternoon. Here's the transcript of what Shero had to say:

On the reports that Sidney Crosby will not be ready for the start of the season:

As I said late last night, I think (Sidney) has progressed really well this summer. He’s happy with his progress. Training camp is a month away, so there’s no expectation for me that he won’t be ready or will be ready. I’m going to see. He’s doing his usual routine. He’ll probably be in a week before camp starts, and we’ll evaluate him then to see how he’s doing. But all in all, it’s been a good summer for him getting back home and really getting back into his workout routines on and off the ice, so we’ll see what the next month brings us to training camp and of course, Oct. 6 for the regular season.

On if Crosby is still experiencing headaches and/or other side effects from his concussion:
I think he’s had some symptoms on and off depending on how hard he’s pushed himself. He’s pushed himself pretty hard this summer, which is the good news. That’s to be expected with this injury. He’s never had to get to the point where he’s had to shut himself down or anything, so that’s the good news. That kind of goes part in parcel with him making good progress this summer for himself. We’ll see a month from now as to when training camp is and see where he’s going to be.

On if Crosby would have to be symptom free before he is cleared for contact:
Yeah, that will be part and parcel to it, obviously. That’s a month away. As I said before, the good news is that he continues to work out and has worked out hard this summer. When he went back, he had a progression planned with his trainer, Andy O’Brien, that he’s gone through. So we’ll see where we are come training camp.

On if he knows what Crosby's symptoms were:
I really don’t. I don’t know the exact symptoms.

On if Crosby's summer routine has been comparable to any other summer:
I think it’s been pretty similar, getting back home. When I addressed this back in June, he had a plan and it was a progression as he usually does in the summertime. (Crosby’s trainer) Andy has spent a lot of time with him up in Halifax doing both on and off ice stuff. That’s been the good news in terms of his progress in the summer time. I keep trying to report something here, but we’re going to have to wait a month from now to see where he is at training camp.

On if there is anything that seems unusual with Crosby's injury because it’s been eight full months since:
No. The one thing I do know about these concussions is that not every concussion is alike. Every two are different. I think we had four concussions last year – three guys in (Arron) Asham, (Eric) Tangradi and Nick Johnson came back in a certain period of time, and it has been a while with Sid. You see guys, whether it’s (Patrice) Bergeron in Boston or (Pierre-Marc) Bouchard in Minnesota, that missed significant time and they do come back to play. That’s the thing for me and for the organization is the bigger picture with Sidney Crosby, making sure that he is 100 percent cleared and ready to play when he does come back. He’s not going to be pushed to come back to practice or play. I want to make sure a year from now, three years from now, five years from now that he’s still the best player in the league and take the appropriate steps and back him, and go from there.

On how often he talks to Crosby and if it’s on a weekly basis:
I try not to bug him that much (laughs). No, it’s probably a usual summer for me with him in terms of more texts than anything. I did talk to him on the weekend though, just to get an update. Until this story came out, I was going to be in Toronto with Dan at the research and development camp and figured I would get a question about how he was doing and get an update, which I did over the weekend before this came out. I’ve been in touch with him. The stuff I do talk to him about is more about the team than himself. That’s kind of what the summer has been like.

On if there is any advantage to having Crosby in Pittsburgh instead of in Nova Scotia:
No, I don't think so. I think he’s a creature of habit and this is what he does in the summertime. We’ve said this all along – he’s not going to come back any sooner or later than he usually does. He’s got to be himself. He’s got his home back in Halifax and on the water. He does a lot of fishing. He wants to hang out with his friends. He just turned 24; he wants to he a kid and enjoy himself. He’ll be back here soon enough and we’ll be happy to see him when he gets back.

On if Crosby being comfortable would aid his recovery:
Yeah, I think that’s part of it – getting back into a routine, which I think is good for him. Plus, getting back and seeing his sister and spending time with his mom and dad and his friends back home is important – no different than any other player we have here getting back with their friends and family, working out and getting into that routine as well. (Crosby) has a good setup up there for himself.

On how Crosby’s spirits are:
He’s been pretty good. I talked to him on the weekend and his spirits were good. I know he’s been in touch with Dan (Bylsma) on some things and in terms of the team schedule and things like that, that we’ve bounced off some of the players in terms of travel. So on the whole, I think he’s been fine. We’ll see him back in a month or so and see where he is.

On what he’s learned about concussions that he didn’t know before with his son suffering one as well:
A lot. You said I’m not an expert, but I might be at this point (laughs). That’s what happens. I’ve been in the game a long time as an assistant manager and a manager, and you see a lot of guys with concussions. And when it does happen to your own son or daughter, obviously you find out a lot more about it because you’re living with them. It’s an injury that we’re learning more and more about. Not every concussion is the same. Some take longer and some guys come back in a week or two. But in this case with Sidney, we’ll see where he is a month from now with training camp and hope for the best.

On if he thinks about some of the players who might have played through injuries like this before and the long-term effects of what that would have meant to some of them:
Yeah, I think you’ve seen it in all of the different sports now, too. That’s part of the ongoing research and trying to make the games safer, which the NHL I think has taken some dramatic steps to do. It’s a step in the right direction. We did some things last year in terms of protocol and so forth that will continue on to this year. The safety of the players in any sport, let alone the NHL, should be the priority. But you are learning more about this stuff, so I think it’s a good thing. To be more proactive I think is a great thing for everybody.

On the possibility of Crosby’s injury lingering into the season:
My only concern is his long-term health. I don’t have Sep. 16 on my calendar for him. I don’t have Oct. 6. My only concern is his long-term health and keeping in mind that he’s a hockey player, but he’s also a 24-year-old kid. I want him to feel good about himself. He’ll be back at some point to play hockey. The only thing we can do is see what another four weeks from now, when he gets back, see how he is, get him evaluated and go from there. He’s got a long ways to go here in terms of a month to continue working, and we’ll see where he is when he gets to camp.

On if he has a problem with the Islanders planning a viewing party for the Feb. 11 game:
The Islanders have a good, young hockey team and that's what I think we should be talking about. They should have a good year there for themselves. What they’re doing off the ice – if they want to revisit (that game), that’s fine. But that’s not a game we’re going to revisit. We’re going to put that behind us. We’re not proud of it. It’s time to move on.

On if there are any rule changes being testing at the NHL RDO camp that he’s particularly interested in:
I haven’t had a good time to take a real good look at the agenda. But some of the ones are still going to be planned. Brian Burke’s got this one about the bear hug and trying to take away some of those injuries near the boards. It’ll be interesting to see how that goes. Some of the rules are about the offsides, where the faceoff goes back to your own zone. It’ll be interesting to see how they go. I went last year for a couple of days and I thought it was really beneficial. Brendan Shanahan did a great job with it. I think it’s great for Dan to be a part of it this year. I come back from it last year and I want to get Dan’s input and our coaches’ input on some of these rules too, because they’re the ones behind the bench. He’s going to be hands-on this year, so I think it’s going to be great. We’re going to have some really good feedback by the end of the week.
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