Latest Penguins Buzz

Insider Only Morning Penguins Buzz: Cooke will be a top storyline; On talk of Crosby being distant from team

Latest Penguins Buzz

One of the biggest storylines going into the season, of course aside from Sidney Crosby, will be whether Matt Cooke can actually transform his game and remain a productive player.
Cooke who recently sat down with the Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi for an exclusive interview, said in the interview that he will only hit the “right way” and there will be no more elbows, no more blindside shots and no more of the hits that have garnered him the reputation as the NHL’s dirtiest player.
The interview also focused on the major scare Cooke had in his personal life when his wife Michelle fell ill a day after the Winter Classic and was believed to be on her death bed four days later on January 6, 2011.
“I get a hold of a doctor, and he says, ‘I think you should come back right now,’ ” Cooke who was in Montreal on the morning of January 6th, said in the interview. “I got there, and they’ve got a chaplain giving her the blessing (for recovery) and our kids are in that room.”
Here’s the kicker from the interview. The first game {previous game was Winter Classic on Jan 1}, his wife attends after getting sick is on March 20th. That of course was the last game Cooke would play last season after delivering a vicious elbow to Ryan McDonagh’s head that resulted in a 17-game suspension and eventually ended his season as the Penguins were not able to get past the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round.
Even with his wife Michelle attending her first game in months, along with her mom and a friend in attendance, it didn’t lead Cooke to holding back his antics and shows how it might be a tough process for Cooke to transform his game after being in the league for more than 10 years.
Link to Cooke Article, via Tribune-Review–
Crosby has wanted privacy this summer, according to sources
As I mentioned about 10 days or so, I will not be getting into the daily health updates on Sidney Crosby like most of the media is. He continues to struggle {at times} to get through strenuous workouts and intends or has seen another head specialist (not connected with Pens organization) in the coming weeks for a second opinion before being evaluated by the team in September and I will leave it at that regarding Crosby’s health.
However, an interesting development has been Crosby being viewed as “somewhat” distant with the Penguins organization. That has caught some key members of the Penguins organization by surprise, as things between the two sides were fine following the exit meetings in April and when Crosby left for the summer following a medical checkup from team doctors in early June.
When in contact with Pens officials, Crosby has been very “short” regarding his health and has been hard to get in contact with at times, according to sources.
I was told by someone very close to the situation that Crosby and his camp have no ill feelings to the organization regarding a botched diagnosis last January, and deeply respect the organization.
However, sources say Crosby has wanted privacy {regarding his health} for the most part  as he works back towards full health.
One interesting tidbit I was told is Crosby’s camp was not too happy about how the Penguins handled his return to the ice last March when they made a spectacle regarding the first couple times he hit the ice with exclusive videos and such, when those first couple skates by himself could have easily been kept quiet.
They {Crosby’s camp} didn’t want a spectacle to made of his summer workouts and Crosby being what seems to be distant from the organization, has been the choice he’s decided to make.

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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