Penguins sign Crosby to five-year extension
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Sidney Crosby had agreed to a $43.5 million contract extension a few hours earlier and was planning to celebrate in style.
Sidney Crosby style.
With his family. At his parents' home. In suburban Halifax.
"It's been a busy June," Crosby said. "So July will be a good month for me to train and relax."
And so the good times rolled in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia yesterday. Perhaps right up until the crack of dusk.
And what of the trappings associated with highly paid young athletes?
Mansions? Flashy cars? Gaudy jewelry?
Crosby is content being a renter at Mario Lemieux's house and driving a vehicle that's good in the snow and gets him to and from work. And the only piece of bling in which he seems interested is one that can't be bought in a store: A Stanley Cup ring.
That's why he accepted a deal that's worth an average of $8.7 million per season, below the maximum allowed by the NHL's collective bargaining agreement.
It caps individual salaries at 20 percent of the team's payroll ceiling, $50.3 million for the coming season. That means Crosby could have gotten at least $10.06 million, and probably more if he'd waited another year to open negotiations and the ceiling, as expected, rises again.
Instead, he opted to settle for less to give general manager Ray Shero a better chance of keeping the Penguins' nucleus of exceptional young talent intact.
"Any [financial] projections I'd done had Sidney at the max, because you never know what was going to happen," Shero said. "Sidney is interested in winning the Stanley Cup. He's interested in winning in Pittsburgh. This is a great first step, obviously."
Crosby said that "it was important to do what was right for everyone," but allowed that he had gotten at least one whimsical concession in the talks: A deal that translates to an annual salary-cap hit of $8.7 million.Peter Diana, Post-Gazette
Sidney Crosby's new deal runs through 2013.
Click photo for larger image.
Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby and team general manager Ray Shero speak with the media on a conference call Tuesday, after the team announced Crosby signed a five-year contract extension:
How will $8.7 million per year change your life?
It's a "relief" to finish the deal and stay in Pittsburgh
Keeping the team together
On the negotiations
The contract allows flexibility to sign other players in the future
Assessing the team's offseason
Crosby's contract breakdown
$4 million salary,
$5 million signing bonus
$9 million salary
$9 million salary
$9 million salary
$7.5 million salary
Contract includes a no-trade clause that takes effect in 2012.
Those digits are no coincidence. Not for a guy born on 8/7/87, who wears No. 87.
"I was right around that ballpark, so I said I might as well go 8.7," Crosby said. "That's my number, and it's always been that way. It's always been good to me, so, hopefully, maybe it will bring a little luck."
Crosby probably wouldn't have had to rely on good fortune to spend the next six seasons -- he still has a year remaining on his entry-level contract, so his new one doesn't take effect until the 2008-09 season -- with the Penguins but his agent, Pat Brisson, left nothing to chance.
He got Shero to agree to a no-trade clause that kicks in in 2012. That's the first year in which Crosby could have been eligible for unrestricted free agency, although that milestone has lost much of its significance now that he's signed through 2012-13.
"It was his strong desire to remain in Pittsburgh and it was obviously our strong desire to keep him here for as long as we can," Shero said.
Sometime before the deal struck yesterday expires, Crosby figures to set up housekeeping on his own here -- "I'll have to call Mario and see if I also get a five-year extension on the lease, too," he said, laughing -- but that might be one of the few things that changes for him.
His bank statements will look a bit different when the new contract comes into play, but his lifestyle probably won't. At least in the early going, it appears as if his money won't do anything more exotic than earn interest.
"When I signed my first contract, there were a few things I did [with the money]," Crosby said. "At this point, I'm really happy with things. To have the ability to maybe get something that you thought at another time you might not be able to get, it's nice to have that opportunity.
"But to be honest, right now, there's nothing that really comes to mind. I have a house here in Halifax that I couldn't be happier with and I think my parents are pretty comfortable, so it's something I'll have to see. But it's not really a huge issue right now."
And the largest one facing the Penguins since the deal to get the city its new multipurpose arena was crafted -- locking up the game's best player to a long-term contract -- is a nonissue now, too.
"We're very happy with it, and we're very happy that he's [with the Penguins] for at least six more years," Shero said. "And hopefully, his entire career."
NOTES -- When the NHL schedule is released today, it will include a Penguins game at Buffalo Jan. 1. For now, at least, that game is scheduled to be played at HSBC Arena, not in an outdoor venue. ... Crosby, who finished the 2006-07 season playing on a broken foot, resumed skating Monday and said "it felt good," although he acknowledged that "I haven't gotten hit with a puck there yet."
First Published July 10, 2007 11:22 pm