Sidney Crosby is expected to miss the Pittsburgh Penguins' season-opener next week because of a concussion sustained in January.
After the Penguins practised Saturday at Joe Louis Arena, the Pittsburgh captain said he didn't think there was a realistic chance he would play in Vancouver on Thursday night.
"No. I wouldn't expect it. No," he said.
Crosby hasn't played since absorbing hits in consecutive games four days apart. He was diagnosed with a concussion on Jan. 6. He has skated with the team since Sept. 17, but hasn't been cleared for contact.
Crosby had 32 goals and 34 assists in 41 games last season, giving him a team-high 66 points.
"In terms of him and his rehab, I think it's positive," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "We play next Thursday and it's a few short days away. We haven't progressed to the next level yet."
Penguins general manager Ray Shero also ruled Crosby out of the opener, and said there is no return date for him.
"Knock on wood, everything is progressing for him, it appears," Shero said. "On the ice he's practising hard, and that's a big part of his recovery."
Crosby has been skating hard, and has travelled and practised with the team during the pre-season.
The Penguins will wrap up their exhibition schedule Sunday at Detroit, and Crosby will make the trip to Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton for the opening games of the season.
The Penguins return to Pittsburgh on Oct. 10, and have their home opener against Florida.
"When we get back from the trip, maybe I'll see a doctor then," Crosby said. "Every day I just try to go as hard as I can. "Hopefully things will keep going as they're going."