I am a little late on getting to this but as it can't be official until July 1 I just didn't get around to it, but this is big news. I think you know the news I am talking about as Sidney Crosby inked a 12 year contract extension with the Penguins that will kick in the 2013-14 season for a total of $104.4M. This will essentially keep Crosby in a Penguins sweater for the rest of his career with the contract running through the 2024-25 season.
As you may have been able to figure out the average annual value of the contract is $8.7M which is the exact same cap number that he is sitting at right now. The maximum contract number Crosby could have got according to the current collective bargaining agreement is 20% of the total cap which would mean that if Crosby wanted the money he could be making in upwards of $14M. Crosby left a lot of money on the table to be a Penguin and that has to make you feel good as a fan of the team.
Over his career Crosby has been one of the best in the world. In his seven NHL season Crosby has scored 223 goals and added 386 assists for an average of 1.40 points per game. He has won almost every award possible (Art Ross, Hart, Lester, Rocket Richard, NHL Leadership) and even brought the Stanley Cup back to Pittsburgh. He is the face of the NHL and the face of Pittsburgh hockey. Injuries have derailed him much of the last few season but if he can be healthy this is going to be a great contract and you will see one of the best players in the world in black and gold for a long time.
Things aren't all good on this as you might expect. Crosby has had a problem staying healthy the past few years with his concussions and had a problem in the past with a high ankle sprain. Crosby has only played 63 games in the past two seasons and while he has piled up 103 points (40+63) during that span you don't really want one of, if not the best player in the world only playing 63 games in a two season span.
Obviously any player that you sign for a long term deal you run the risk of injury and having them not be able to play but I think we can all understand where the hesitation might be coming from. One more hit and Crosby could be done for the year. Sure, there is long term IR that the Penguins could put him on but the money is still going to be paid out to him. The Penguins do not have insurance to cover a concussion in the contract but I guess that just goes along with the risk.
All told this was something that needed to get done. The Penguins did take a risk but Crosby also did his part by taking far less money to stay in Pittsburgh. He loves this city and made no mistake about letting it be known that he wanted to finish his career here and he showed that to everyone with this extension. He also want to be able to still build a winner around him so the extra cap help that he gave the Penguins there is still room to add impact players.
The $104+M contract is a lot of money but when you sit down and think about it Crosby has given the Penguins so much more than that and will bring them so much more money because of the marketing. He is the reason the CONSOL Energy Center is here and he is the reason that the Penguins are one of the most premier franchises in the entire NHL. He wants to be here and Shero and company wanted him to be here. This was a no brainer and while there is a decent bit of risk involved in this you don't let the best player in the world go on the open market when he is just going into his prime.