The Pittsburgh Penguins will open up their 2021-2022 regular season on Tuesday against the two-time defending Stanley Cup-champion Tampa Bay Lightning, and they'll do so without future Hall of Famer Sidney Crosby.
According to ESPN's Emily Kaplan, the eight-time All-Star will miss the season-opener due to ongoing recovery from wrist surgery.
"Crosby, 34, made the trip to Tampa Bay and has begun practicing with the team, but he is still recovering from surgery on his left wrist that he underwent in early September. The initial timetable for Crosby's return was six weeks."
Crosby said he is "getting better, getting closer" to returning and it will be "hopefully a week or two."
Kaplan's report notes that Pittsburgh will also be down fellow three-time Stanley Cup-champ and career-long Penguins player Evgeni Malkin, who is slated to miss the first two months of the campaign as he recovers from offseason knee surgery. The team will also be without forwards Jake Guentzel and Zach Aston-Reese, both of whom tested positive for COVID-19 during training camp.
It will the first Pittsburgh opener without both Crosby and Malkin since 2003. Malkin's NHL career started in 2006 and Crosby's began in 2005, and there was no 2004-2005 season due to the NHL lockout. Crosby led the Penguins with 62 points last year in 55 games.