BEST DEAL EVER!!!! I CAN RE-UP THIS SITE FOR 12 YEARS!!!!
No seriously, let’s take a look at it.
- The obvious one, length: Sidney Crosby will be a Penguin for the rest of his career. Arguably the best player in hockey, the Pens will never have to worry about his contract situation again. He’s the face of the franchise and the face of the NHL. It is just as valuable on the business side for the Pens as it is on the ice.
- The price: It will be front-loaded per TSN’s Bob McKenzie, so Sid will make over $10 mil for the first few years it appears. Regardless, the cap hit is $8.7 mil over the life of the contract. That is simply ridiculous. Crosby could have probably made $14 mil on the open market and is taking $8.7 again. Consider, with inflation and other economic factors, the $8.7 mil Sid makes on this extension is actually worth less than from his current contract. Unreal.
- The timing: There’s no question that this deal was released 3 days before Free Agency to make a statement. Parise, Suter, whoever else – Sid is here to stay for the long haul and he is taking less money so you can join and win a Cup with him. Take note, free agents.
- The message: Captain's send messages on and off the ice, right? This one basically says, play in Pittsburgh if you want to focus on winning a Cup, not maxing out your salary. As a fan, that's exactly the message you want to see from your franchise.
- Cap on contracts: The other message this contract sends is that players will not be paid crazy amounts on this team. Parise probably warrants $9 mil or so on the open market. Guess what, he’s not getting it here and he knows it. The Pittsburgh fan response is, oh he’ll come here to play with Sid and win a cup. It doesn’t work like that; it all depends on what Parise wants and cares about, and what the other offers are.
- Injury issues: Let’s be serious, there has to be some worry about how Crosby gets through the next 12 years of his career or even if he does. It’s likely the Pens will have an insurance policy on this contract for the pure money/business side of it. Also, if Sid does go down, his cap space can be relieved via the long term injured reserve if necessary. It is definitely a risk, but it is a business risk for the owners, not really one for the franchise on the ice. If he gets hurt, he will be replaced.
- Ovechkin’s cap hit is $9.538 million on a 13 year contract, the highest in the NHL. No one can possibly do anything but praise Shero and Sid for this contract in terms of price.
- This contract BARELY affects Malkin’s future in Pittsburgh or his contract, so they shouldn’t even be compared. Malkin likely takes the same money, but a new CBA will determine absolutely everything for his contract. Don’t even think about it today. Malkin will have his day in a year.
- The NHL owners are looking to limit contracts to around 6 years if possible in this round of CBA negotiations. The Pens may very well have snuck in this 12 yr extension at the perfect time. Soon, the CBA will likely limit these “retirement” contracts. That is something to keep in mind for next year’s guys (Letang, Malkin).
- While this extension helps paint the picture for free agents like Parise to come to Pittsburgh, it hardly guarantees it. There is still every chance that the Pens strike out in free agency because July 1st is one of the most unpredictable days of the year every season. So while a message has been sent, don't read into it too much. We don't know how the message is received or if it matters.
- Seriously, how can anyone be upset about this contract?