Sunday, June 10, 2012

$id Is About To Cash In

From the no surprises column, the Pittsburgh Penguins are working on a contract extension for superstar Sidney Crosby as he is slated to become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

According to Elliotte Friedman of the CBC, it's going to be a pretty good deal for No. 87, too. Like 10 years, $9-million-per good.

For the face of the NHL, it's in line with what you would expect. If it is indeed a $9-million-per-season cap hit he will break the tie with teammate Evgeni Malkin and become the second highest-paid player on an annual basis in the league behind only Alex Ovechkin.

What makes this a bit more interesting is the gamble the Penguins are making. To be clear, there is absolutely no gamble when you're talking about talent. Instead the concern has to be about the health of Crosby considering the last year and a half he hasn't played very much at all between a concussion and a neck injury. But when he did finally get back on the ice he showed he's still as talented as ever, and the Pens are obviously banking on the fact that he will be able to continue to play at this level for many years. Literally, being able to.

His return to action at the end of this season playing the final portion of the schedule and the playoffs made this a much easier decision for Penguins GM Ray Shero, I'm sure. If Crosby hadn't returned at the end of the year it would have been much more interesting to see what the Pens would do but the end of the season had to be reassuring -- and the final convincing the Pens needed.

Of course, this also keeps the questions about the rest of the roster around There are already some doubting whether or not the Pens will be able to keep Jordan Staal around with the salary cap. Now this deal for Crosby doesn't do much if anything to change that situation, this only constitutes a $300,000 raise for Crosby.

Keep in mind that a deal can't be signed until July 1 for Crosby, but this one sounds like it's at least drafted up and just ready for his John Hancock. There really was no other way this was going to play out.

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