First and Foremost… Sidney Crosby and His Contract

I’ll start with perhaps the biggest deal. Sidney Crosby and his contract. There have been rumors all over the place in the last two weeks. It started with the Trib posting an unsubstantiated report that originated on Mark Madden’s show, before moving into that eternal bastion of permanence, the Internet. Both Madden and the Canadian media seem to be fairly close together, 8-10 years, $9 million per season. If that is true then even my completely reasonable prediction of $9.5 mil is quite high. There are naysayers, Ron Cook for instance agreed with most people that you should pay Crosby whatever he wants for as long as he wants, however, he thinks it’s absurd to think that Crosby could be resigned for such a modest figure. I feel like this is how Cook has survived as a “professional” sports journalist for so long, only two things can happen in relation to his prediction: either he’ll be right and then tell everyone about it, or he’ll be wrong and he’ll still walk away grinning because he can just chalk it up to “golly gee willikers, that Sidney Crosby, he sure is swell, he must really love Pittsburgh.” I’ll give credit where credit is due.

Here are some facts that we know about Sidney Crosby: (1) he’s smart, (2) he wants to play in Pittsburgh. What does that mean? Well for starters, Sid’s intelligence led me to my $9.5 mil prediction, he understands that you can’t pay him $12 million a year and still be able to build the team that he needs around him. Further, despite whatever “rumors” you might hear from the Canadian media about Sid’s sudden desire to move back to Canada to play the rest of his career, it isn’t true. I mean Sid has been on record for years saying that he would like to play his entire career in one city, just like his benefactor Buries It.

I think 8 years is a pretty important factor for Sid’s contract. In August of this year he will be turning 25, and under the current collective bargaining agreement (which is to say that it could totally change come September of this year) his new contract would not begin until the 2013-2014 season. Also, under the current collective bargaining agreement, any contract that runs past 5 years and would take a player to the age of 35 or older in the 180 day season (which starts on July 1 with Free Agency) is absolutely guaranteed, even if the player retires. So basically if you do a little math, signing Crosby to an 8-year deal that will begin when he turns 26 and expires when he’s 34 will protect the Penguins from any potential health concerns that could arise from Crosby’s concussion history. So that’s that. It really isn’t full of drama and that’s what I like to see.


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