In an era that sees players move from team to team, it is great to see a player commit to one city and one franchise. That is exactly what we saw when the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they have extended star center Sidney Crosby to a 12 year deal worth $104.4 million. The agreement can’t be made official until July 1.
This deal works for both sides. The Penguins sign the face of the league and when healthy its best player to a cap friendly deal, and Crosby gets long term security despite concerns over his health.
At 24 Crosby has already won a Stanley Cup, a Hart Trophy, a scoring title and a gold medal. Plus he has dealt with a career ending injury with his concussions that cost him to miss much of the past two seasons. Crosby played in 22 games this season finishing with 37 points.
The question is should the Penguins have committed a long term deal to Crosby considering his health problems?
The answer is: YES! YES! YES!
Crosby has done a lot for the city of Pittsburgh. People may forget that the Penguins used to be the laughing stock of the league with always being in the cellar and having talent like Milan Kraft, Ramzi Abid and Rico Fata. Even when they drafted Crosby there was a real chance of the Penguins being moved to Kansas City.
Crosby was able to get people in Pittsburgh excited about hockey again.
“Sidney was emotionally attached to the fans,” agent Pat Brisson told reporters on a conference call. “He realized what he wanted and where he wanted to be and he wanted to be in Pittsburgh.” (Sporting News Sean Gentille)
Having the Crosby deal done and announced prior to July first creates a selling point for top free agents. Like Crosby’s close friend Zach Praise who is the top free agent out there. The Penguins have roughly $15 million in cap space and could actively pursue Praise.
”We’re in a different spot than we were maybe a week ago in terms of our salary cap situation,” Shero said. “It’s good to have Sidney signed back up and Geno under contract for two more years. To have these franchise players signed up, it’s good for the franchise no matter what happens.” (Dan Rosen – NHL.com Senior Writer)
No matter what happens in free agency, it is good to have the captain signed long term.