The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 6, 2012

Penguins remain eager but realistic about NHL lockout



The NHLPA could learn as early as today what the league might be willing to give as the talks move along. Whether the NHL will accept the union's plan for honoring existing contracts, for example, and whether it will be flexible on its demand for term limits on contracts or new guidelines for attaining free agency. All of which explains why Penguins players will be hoping for the best, but taking nothing for granted, while monitoring these talks, whether they last one day or go on indefinitely.

"I don't know what to think anymore," Crosby said. "A couple of weeks ago, I thought things were heating up. I thought we were going to get some traction with everything. "But that wasn't the case. This time around, I'm trying to not get my hopes up."

NOTE -- Cooke participated in Monday's player-organized workout at Southpointe sporting a large Band-Aid on his forehead, where Crosby's stick had removed a divot during a drill Friday. Cooke said he isn't upset with Crosby, but disputed stories that Crosby helped with first aid for his injury. "I should correct previous reports in the paper that he had anything to do with aiding or fixing the cut," Cooke said, smiling. "Because he did absolutely nothing except for laugh." Crosby's recollection of events: "There was a good little chunk out of (Cooke's forehead) but I knew it wasn't his eye or anything, so we had a good chuckle."

Dave Molinari: and Twitter @MolinariPG.

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