Pittsburgh Penguins: Pros and Cons of Sidney Crosby Playing Overseas

James MaahsContributor IIINovember 27, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins meets with the media following the NHLPA meeting at Marriott Marquis Times Square on September 13, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby has yet to decide if he will play overseas during this NHL lockout.

There has been some speculation about what Crosby might do, but the Penguins center remains uncertain of his immediate future. Part of the reason for this is the hefty $400,000-per-month insurance premium teams would have to pay to acquire his services.

But if the lockout drags on, Crosby could very well suit up and head to another team in order to get a few games in.

Regardless of what Crosby chooses to do, there will be positives and negatives associated with his decision.

Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of Crosby potentially choosing to play overseas during the lockout.


Pro: Help to Shake Off Some Rust and Stay Sharp

Many NHL players are heading overseas to keep their games sharp. This helps to build up their skills and also gives them a physical edge when the lockout ends.

Crosby is still on the fence about what he would like to do, mainly because of his high insurance premium. But if he eventually does head overseas, Crosby will be able to hone his skills and shake off any rust before the lockout ends.


Con: Crosby Could Get Injured

Any time a hockey player hits the ice, there is a small chance that they will leave the game with an injury.

In the case of Sidney Crosby, even the smallest chance is too big for the Pittsburgh Penguins organization. The $400,000-per-month insurance premium is enough to scare most European teams away.

In the event that Crosby does get injured, it could also be career-ending. One more shot to the head and concussion, and Crosby's career could stop.


Pro: Crosby Could Expand the Game

While the NHL and NHLPA are busy destroying hockey in North America, Europe is getting an influx of elite hockey talent. NHL players are flocking to European teams and indirectly helping to grow the game on the continent.

Superstars such as Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin have already sparked more interest among fans in Russia.

The addition of Sidney Crosby to that equation would be huge, since he is one of the main faces of hockey around the globe.

Crosby would be able to boost his marketability in North America and overseas, which will lead to an even bigger payday from sponsors.


Con: Crosby Overseas May Signal End to NHL Season

As talks about a new CBA have dragged on, Crosby has been a major leader in the NHLPA. Attending nearly all of the meetings, Crosby has been a vocal critic of the way the NHL has gone about negotiations.

Blackhawks' star center Jonathan Toews has been the same, a leader in the NHLPA. Now he and Crosby are both considering heading to Europe.

If both players have waited this long in hopes that a deal would be made, what kind of message does it send when they head overseas?

If Crosby packs his bags and finds a team in Europe, the NHL season may be as good as dead. 


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