The Penguins have had preliminary talks with Sidney Crosby's representatives in advance of negotiations toward a new contract, someone with knowledge of the situation said Monday.
The star center is expected to seek something covering several years, but contract length and financial terms have not been discussed.
Crosby, 24, is signed through the 2012-13 season but can sign a new contract beginning July 1. That contract would kick in for the 2013-14 season.
His current deal, which is entering its fifth and final season, pays him an average of $8.7 million per season.
The collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its players association expires in September, but it's believed that will not hinder the Crosby negotiations. It's the same with Crosby's health.
Crosby, a former NHL scoring champion and MVP, missed the second half of the 2010-11 season and most of 2011-12 because of a concussion and neck injury. But he played the final 14 games of the past regular season, racking up six goals and 19 assists, and had three goals, five assists in six playoff games.
Crosby is in Los Angeles, where he has been working out on and off the ice.penguins