Sidney Crosby's 12-year Extension Good News For Penguins

 

Sidney Crosby’s contract extension seems to have gotten lost in the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter free agency hoopla. Not to mention the loss of center Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes overshadowing the gargantuan deal.

Twelve years. $104.4 million. $8.7 million per year.

The kid didn’t even get a raise. Oh, the superstitions of the magical number 87.

The contract’s cap hit, really, was the main reason the Pens could be all in on the Parise sweepstakes. It hurt missing out on him – almost as much as it hurt being spurned by Marian Hossa in 2008…almost – but there’s a bigger picture, here.

Crosby set the bar with this contract and he set it high. We’re not talking about money and term, either – though those are both impressive in size and length (that’s what she said). No, we’re talking about how he took less so the franchise is in a better position to make moves to bring in good players and make the team stronger.

It’s not only why they could chase Parise, it’s what’s going to allow the Pens to potentially chase and sign a guy like Coyotes captain Shane Doan or Capitals castoff Alexander Semin to fill the scoring void.

Crosby could have easily demanded upwards of $10 million per season or even closer to the maximum $14 million the cap ceiling would have allotted. Even if it wasn’t from the Pens but instead another team on July 1, 2013.

You don’t think the Canadiens would’ve thrown $12-14 million at him for 10-12 years without even thinking about it?  Makes your brain hurt even thinking about it, right?

Are there risks? Sure there are, but that comes with the territory with contracts long contracts.  Yeah, yeah, yeah…concussion problems, durability issues.  Fact of the matter is, though, when Crosby has been healthy he’s been, to borrow a term from the great Chris Jericho, “the best in the world at what he does.”

Stats don’t lie.

In the 2010-11 season, before he suffered two concussions a week apart, Crosby was dominating the league. His 66 points (32 goals, 34 assists) was far and away the most points in the league.

Seriously, there was no one close to him.

And last year, in 22 games, he had eight goals and 29 assists – which averages out to approximately 30 goals and 108 assists over an 82 game season. Ladies and gentlemen, those numbers are stupid good.

Oh, and those totals he put up? He did it playing the majority of his even strength time on lines with guys like Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy. And to no offense to them, but they aren’t really the most skilled of wingers.

That’s why missing out on Parise is so tough and why it’s great Crosby took less so the Pens can maybe, possibly, perhaps bring in a more skilled guy like Doan or Semin. You think Semin would see what was special about Sid if he played on a line with him?  The safe bet is, yes, he would.

The deal also sets the Pens up nicely to lock up other key guys that will become free agents in the very near future – the biggest being that big, talented Russian that won the MVP and scoring titles last season.

His name is Evgeni Malkin, you may have heard of him.  His deal is up in 2013-14 and the Pens will be able to start discussing extension with him next July 1 same applies to Kris Letang.

Are Sid’s thoughts, “Hey, if I sign for less…so will Geno and Letang and Fleury and…”

Because that’s what a captain should think like.

And with a core of Letang, James Neal (who signed a 6-year, $30 million extension) and the newly acquired Brandon Sutter to go along with Crosby and Malkin’s 1A and 1AA and a load of young, talented defensemen in the system, the Pens future is a bright one.

 

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