Penguins fans still aren’t certain if they will get to watch Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin represent their home countries at the 2026 Winter Olympics.
This time it won’t be the NHL standing in the way of their appearance at the Games. The league announced during All-Star festivities Friday that players will be allowed to compete in the upcoming Olympics in Italy.
It will instead be a test of time. Crosby will be 38 years old by the time players are traveling to Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo for the Games, past the end of his current Penguins contract, which expires at the end of the 2024-25 season. Malkin will be 39 and in the final year of his current deal.
“I’d love to,” Crosby said about going to the 2026 Games, per The Hockey News’ Michael Traikos. “I don’t ever think too far ahead, regardless of how old you are. I think you always go a year at a time and see how it goes and see where your game’s at.”
“I’d love to be a part of it. But it’s something you have to earn, though. It’s not something that’s given to you. To represent your country, you have to earn it.”
“I’d love to be a part of it, but it’s something you have to earn” - Sidney Crosby on the Olympics pic.twitter.com/eBCLpG6hzl— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) February 2, 2024
The 2026 Olympics will mark the first appearance of NHL players at the Games since Crosby captained Team Canada to gold in 2014 in Sochi.
Both Crosby and former Penguin Chris Kunitz scored during a 3-0 gold medal shutout watched by more than 15 million Canadians.
“It’s an unbelievable experience,” said Crosby, per Traikos. “To see the best players go head-to-head representing their country, from my experience I don’t know if you get better hockey than that. It’s great to be a part of and great for fans and everyone involved, so it’s a special thing.”
The NHL also gave the green light for players to participate in the 2030 Winter Olympics, the host country of which has yet to be determined.
“I’m sure that a lot of players are really happy,” Crosby said, per CityNews. “Especially to commit to two years, two different Olympics. I think that’ll be great.”
Crosby was absent from Friday’s skill competitions but is set to participate in the All-Star Game today at Scotiabank Arena at 3 p.m. ET.