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Insider Only Exit Meetings Players Buzz: Crosby on health, contract; Niskanen on falling in love with team; Letang hip surgery?; Martin had concussion symptoms

EXIT MEETINGS BUZZ
Despite taking some hard hits in Games 5 and 6, Sidney Crosby enters the off-season in good shape compared to last off-season.
“Helath is pretty good, ” Crosby said, who indicated focus is to go into next season fully healthy and get through a full season.
The contract situations of Crosby and Jordan Staal are hot topics this upcoming summer and Crosby had high praise for Staal, while also talking about his contract situation, where Crosby indicated there might not be a sense or urgency to strike a deal on July 1 because of the CBA, like the two sides did last time around.
“He’s a complete player, plays against teams top players, ” Crosby said of Staal. “He’s a big part of our team.” As a teammate I have a lot of respect for him and hope he’s around for a long time.”

Crosby on his contract status:
“I don’t think there’s any real definitive decision there. It’s going to be something that the team and I will both wait to see what makes sense, ” Crosby said as talks can’t open until July 1. “It might be a matter of wait and see on how it plays out, ” Crosby said because of the tough situation surrounding the CBA.
Crosby though indicated he wants to stay here. “Yeah, that’s the plan, ” Crosby said.
LETANG MAY NEED HIP SURGERY
Defensemen Kris Letang will not play in the world championships and might need hip surgery this summer, the star defenseman said. Letang mentioned the injury is not major and that it’s bothered him for at least a few years. As for his play, Letang said he could learn to handle his emotions better moving forward.
NISKANEN FALLING IN LOVE WITH ORGANIZATION
Defenseman Matt Niskanen proved to be a great fit in Dan Bylsma’s system but is a pending restricted free agent, likely to make over $2 million per season. At age 25 he’s a player the Penguins would like to retain but may need to move salary.
Coming over from the Dallas Stars, Niskanen has fallen in love with the organization.
“I’ve fallen in love with this organization, ” Niskanen said. He made $1.75 million in 2011-2012.
TIDBITS
— Defenseman Paul Martin had concussion like symptoms he suffered on a hit from Brayden Schenn in Game 3, GM Ray Shero confirmed.
Evgeni Malkin confirmed he will play in the world championships, indicating “he really has no choice.”
Steve Sullivan played with a foot injury for the entire series and had to take a shot before every game. He had six points in the series.
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About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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