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Why would Crosby risk playing in Europe?

Sidney Crosby's European odyssey is becoming more and more of a realistic possibility with each passing day of this dreadful lockout.

There is interest from all over Europe, most notably from Russia and Switzerland and -- if I had to bet -- I’d give Swiss league teams a leg up on landing the world’s top hockey player.

For those who wonder why on earth he’d be willing to risk playing overseas without his massive new contract fully insured (only part of it will be insurable), it’s a calculated risk from a player who feels he must play.

Too much time has been spent not playing games over the past two-plus years. Whether it’s in a lockout-shortened NHL season or wearing a uniform overseas, bet on Crosby playing real games this season.

And I don’t blame him one bit.

But there’s certainly no set date on any decision in that regard.

"There’s no real timeline, I think it’s just trying to get a pulse on what’s going on (on the labor front), and that’s been hard to do," the Pittsburgh Penguins superstar told ESPN.com over the phone late Tuesday night after arriving in Phoenix where he’s joining other NHLers for scrimmages this week.

"At the end of the day, I’m a hockey player and I love to play. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind practicing, but I’ve been practicing a lot for the last couple of years. I just want to play. If there’s nothing really happening as far as getting a deal done, then it becomes much more important to play games and finding out where that makes sense."

Crosby spoke about it with agent Pat Brisson on Monday night.

"Sidney is seriously looking at his options in Europe," Brisson told ESPN.com Tuesday. "He needs and wants to play hockey. It will be difficult to go all year without playing after what he's gone through the last two years. Over the next few days, I'm going to make more calls and continue to explore Sidney's options."