Sidney Crosby: How Much Do You Risk?
Sidney Crosby will become an unrestricted free agent during the summer of 2013. Due to the impending changes of the CBA for player compensation and contract duration with the CBA it is expected that Crosby will finalize a new contract by approximately July 1st.
The question is: how much do you pay for arguably the best hockey player in the league, who happens to also have serious head and neck problems?
Get ready to gamble.
Recently, it has been reported that Pittsburgh Penguins are considering a ten-year contract with an average of $9 million a year. If there was no salary cap they would probably offer him $14 million. That’s a lot of money for a young man who spent most of the last season off the ice.
Is he worth the risk?
The Penguins have said that they are not worried about Sidney’s head injuries. They only want Sidney to be a “Penguin for life.” That is a hell of a risk to own a name. Sidney Crosby only spent 22 games on the ice last season. He is only twenty-four but has had serious head and neck injuries. If he gets hurt again and decides to retire the Pens will be on the hook for his salary. Aside from him retiring, this deal has faith that Sidney will continue to play at the level that he is renowned for. Additionally, the amount of Crosby’s payout will impact the rest of the team-the team members that carried the Penguins to the playoffs. This will impact Jordan Staal the most, as he is also an unrestricted free agent. If Crosby’s salary raises the Penguins will most likely not be able to pay Staal what he deserves. Malkin is also an unrestricted free agent. He could easily exceed his current $8.7 million cap hit.
Additionally, the Penguins need to address their defense issues. They have weaknesses in their defense and wings. If the Penguins want to win the Stanley Cup they need to work on making their team a more complete roster. Committing $20 million to three centers would not help them achieve that goal.
Furthermore, Sidney’s agent Pat Brisson is going to want a major deal. Considering everything that Sidney Crosby has done for the franchise, and the skill level he possesses, it’s not asking too much.
How do you balance?
The Penguins want to keep their star, but they also want to create a team that is well rounded enough to win the Stanley Cup. Financially it makes more sense for the Penguins to not spend an immense amount of Sidney Crosby. However, if must be asked, how much would the rest of the teams in the league pay for him?