Sidney Crosby won't find out until Tuesday morning if he'll actually be involved in the meeting between NHL owners and players later in the day.
NHL Players' Association officials, for reasons that have not been publicly explained, are bringing a larger-than-needed contingent of players to New York, and will determine tomorrow precisely which will participate in the meeting.
Conventional wisdom outside the NHLPA is that Crosby is an excellent bet to be selected, and a group of teammates surveyed after a player-organized workout at Southpointe today believes he would be a wise choice.
Not only is he the best player in the game, they said, but he is well-versed in the issues that have shut down the NHL since mid-September.
A sampling of the responses when players were asked whether Crosby could have a positive impact on the negotiations if given an opportunity tomorrow:
Defenseman Matt Niskanen: "He won't be just a name, sitting in the room. He obviously cares a ton. Being out (because of injuries) the past two years and not playing, he thinks this thing should have been done a while ago. He's really smart. I ask him questions almost every day when he's here about what he thinks about what's going on. He's a smart guy. He knows the ins-and-outs of what's going on in the negotiations. ... I think he's pretty firm in his beliefs that we have to get certain things out of the negotiations (and) that we might be able to (concede) on a few of their demands. He's said it a few times in the media, that there has to be give-and-take."
Left winger Chris Kunitz: "Definitely, he has a feeling for the pulse of everything. ... Maybe the new people in there express something that hasn't been heard. Maybe it sparks (the owners) talking amongst themselves about something.
Left winger Pascal Dupuis: "He's well-informed. He wants to be part of the group that gets the game back on the ice."
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