News & Notes: Crosby Cleared For Contact; Grabovski, Turco Ink Deals

Written by Frank Castaldi on .

  • Crosby has full-participation practice with Penguins

As if the Pittsburgh Penguins weren't the hottest team in the League already, the surging Pens were blessed with even more good news: Sidney Crosby has been cleared for contact.

We assume the news comes as a result of Sid the Kid being bored of just doing this in practice for three months:

Although there's still no timetable on his eventual return, hearing that arguably the greatest player in the world is one step closer to having his presence back in the lineup, is outstanding news. Especially for a team that is currently shooting up the standings, enjoying a nice six-game win streak.

Crosby, who hasn't been in action since Dec. 6, will more than likely bring instant impact to the Penguins' lineup, adding another punch to their offense which already features the red-hot Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Chris Kunitz.

When Crosby last returned from his concussion-related setbacks, he simply dominated, scoring 12 points in eight games.

After the jump, more news from around the NHL...

  • Grabovski, Maple Leafs agree to five-year extension

I guess when Brian Burke was adamant on the trade deadline about a deal between Mikhail Grabovski and the Maple Leafs being completed sooner rather than later, he wasn't lying.

Toronto and the talented forward agreed to a five-year $27.5 contract extension early Tuesday afternoon. Grabvoski, who was slated to become and unrestricted free agent at season's end, was one of the key targets for many teams in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, but was not moved by Burke as he felt a new deal was promising.

Here's what the Leafs GM had to say about the signing:

"We are extremely pleased to have Mikhail under contract for the next five seasons," Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke said Tuesday in a prepared statement announcing the deal. "His speed and skill are valuable commodities and fit perfectly with our style of play. He leads by example and his work ethic speaks for itself."

  • Marty Turco to strap on the pads one more time

With Tuuka Rask sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks with a lower groin strain, the Bruins felt they needed a veteran presence in net to help take the load of Tim Thomas going down the stretch. Who's more veteran than Marty Turco?

Turco, who's last game in the NHL game during last season with the Chicago Blackhawks, was signed to a one-year, pro-rated contract worth $600 thousand. Should he clear waivers, Turco will be able to suit up for the B's on Wednesday.

Since Turco was signed after the waiver deadline, he will be unable to participate with the Bruins during the postseason, however, Rask should be back by then.

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