Costly insurance premiums are preventing Sidney Crosby from playing hockey.
With the NHL lockout in its 46th day, Crosby would like to compete in some form, but his past health issues and high salary would contribute to costing the Pittsburgh Penguins star as much as $400,000 US a month for insurance coverage, agent Pat Brisson told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Crosby was due to make $7.5 million in the final year of his deal. He also signed a $12-year, $104-million contract back in July that kicks in for the 2013-14 season.
Crosby sustained two concussions within a week in January of 2011, forcing him to miss the second half of that season. He then sat out most of the 2011-12 campaign with post-concussion symptoms and neck issues.
The costly insurance has kept Crosby from joining other NHLers overseas or playing some charity games in Quebec organized by former Penguins teammate Max Talbot.
"It's not as easy as just going to play," Crosby, who skated with teammates on Monday, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "If it was, I'd be playing in a lot more of those."
No scheduled talks for NHL, NHLPA
Last week the NHL cancelled games through Nov. 30. The two sides have not met and no talks are planned. On Tuesday players received the full amount of last-season’s escrow payment — the only form of compensation they’ll get until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.
Still, Crosby believes the players remain firm in their resolve.
"I think guys are all probably a bit surprised that [the lockout] has gone on this long, if anything," he said. "I don't think the belief or the unity has changed at all.
"It's funny how things work sometimes. Everyone was pretty optimistic a week and a half ago and nothing really came from it. Maybe this time, it'll be a slow week, then, all of a sudden, we'll hear some news. Hopefully, that's the case."