The Pittsburgh Penguins and star center Sidney Crosby have reportedly agreed on a contract extension that will be worth over $100 million. The report also states that the organization will announce this extension Sunday.
UPDATE: Thursday June 28, 12:40 p.m. ET by Donald Wood
While the original deal was reported to be over $100 million, the details of the actual extension are starting to emerge. Crosby and the Penguins are looking at a total of $104.4 million over 12 years, according to ESPN and TSN hockey insider Pierre LeBrun.
LeBrun is reporting about the details on the star center’s contract on Twitter:
Crosby's agent Pat Brisson of CAA Sports just told me the deal will be $104.4 million over 12 years— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 28, 2012
While the total for this extension is far above most other hockey players are making, this is the organization paying for the publicity of having Crosby on the team.
With the contract being 12 years in length, the deal is undoubtedly front-end loaded so the team can circumvent the salary cap. This deal is exactly what the league was trying to avoid when it made the decision about Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract with the New Jersey Devils.
Crosby will be long gone by the time his contract expires.
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TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger reported the deal on Twitter Thursday:
Expect the Penguins to announce Sidney Crosby's contract extension on Sunday. Over $100 million dollars with an AAV of close to $9 mil per.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 28, 2012
After Crosby's tumultuous season of recovering from a concussion and post-concussion symptoms, the Penguins have rewarded their star player with what should amount to a lifetime contract.
The details of the deal will have to be approved by the league after it becomes official, but this news proves that the team will do whatever it takes to keep No. 87 in Pittsburgh.
Was this a smart move by the Penguins?
What It Means
While this move is risky in terms of the star center’s health over the length of this contract, it’s a no-brainer in terms of the financial success of the franchise. There is no questioning that Crosby is the face of the NHL, and the Penguins are thriving because of it.
This deal will ensure that Crosby wears the same colors throughout his career, fulfilling the projections Penguins owner Mario Lemieux had since meeting the young star and taking him under his wing.
As sure-fire as this deal is in terms of the Penguins' financial success, this is far from safe when talking about Crosby’s long-term health. With the well-documented head injuries, the team must have thought about what would happen if he gets hurt that severely again.
Crosby is the best player in the league when he is healthy, but the way his career has gone over the last two seasons proves that this move was not solely based on the talents the man has on the ice.
The Penguins locked up Sidney Crosby’s brand for life.
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