Transactional Analysis: Sid the Rich Kid
Sidney Crosby will remain property of the Penguins until 2013.
Imagine being four weeks shy of your 20th birthday and handed over $40 million to play a game you’ve loved your whole life. Oh, did I mention that you’ve already got an MVP Award and scoring title under your belt?
Ah yes, life is good for Sidney Crosby.
Crosby signed an extension with the Penguins that will keep him in Steel City until 2013.
He finishes his three-year, entry-level contract this coming season and then the $43.5-million, five-year extension will come into effect. Yes, for the math geniuses at home, the average annual salary of the extension works out to $8.7 million, and yes, that matches his uni number (which of course, matches his birthday of 8/7/87).
Believe it or not, Crosby could have done better. In accepting a deal less than the maximum allowed ($10.06 million per year based on a maximum of 20 per cent of the team’s payroll cap, which is $50.3 million for the upcoming season), Crosby has allowed the Penguins a better opportunity of retaining its core players. Before long the Pens will need to re-sign Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, and thanks to Crosby, they’ll have a better chance of doing so.
This Penguins club is very close to taking a kick at the Cup over the next, say, two-to-four years, but keeping their talent in-house in vital for this quest. Just ask Buffalo about that.
All athletes say they care about winning. Crosby could have got his max deal and no one would have begrudged him – he damn well deserves it. But instead, he proved his ultimate goal is the Stanley Cup by doing his part to help Pittsburgh maintain its nucleus for a bit longer.
So how did he celebrate the news? Las Vegas bender? New York whirlwind? Uh, no. Try at home with his family in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. Apparently, this kid really is that genuine and down to earth. Damn, he still rents a room at Mario Lemieux’s house during the season. Imagine if the NFL had a role model like that.
This is the game’s best player. With his 120 points last season, Crosby was the youngest player in NHL history to win a scoring title. How about becoming the youngest MVP since Wayne Gretzky won the Hart in 1980? Is there anyone that still believes the comparisons are unworthy?
Here’s the breakdown of the deal: In 2008-09, he’ll get $4 million plus a $5 million signing bonus; he’ll make $9 per year over the next three seasons and, during the final year of the contract (2012-13), Crosby’s salary will be $7.5 million. In 2012, a no-trade clause kicks in.
By the way, Crosby started skating again Monday and said he felt good. Remember that he finished last season while playing on a broken foot.
Around the Rink
- Brendan Shanahan said he wanted to stay with the Rangers and that’s what he’s doing, re-signing with them for one year and $2.5 million. According to his agent, Shanahan never explored any other options. In his first year in New York, the 38-year-old slipped to 29 goals after potting 40 for Detroit in 2005-06, but he was a vital member of the Ranger power play, tying for the team lead with 14 PPG. He heads into the 2007-08 season just six points shy of becoming the 29th player in NHL history to accumulate 1,300 in his career.
- The Rangers took care of another of their own on Wednesday when they re-signed restricted free agent goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to a one-year, $4.25-million contract. The 25-year-old Swedish netminder backstopped the Rangers to 37 wins last season — the second-highest total for a Ranger goalie since Mike Richter won 42 games during the team’s last Stanley Cup season, 1993-94. With New York beefing up its offense in front of Lundqvist, he could win even more games this season, making him a superb fantasy goaltender.
- The Devils made a move to shore up their blueline by signing free agent Vitaly Vishnevski to a three-year, $5.4-million deal. Obviously this does not make up for the offense the team lost from his defensive corps when Brian Rafalski bolted to Detroit. After all, the 27-year-old Vishnevski managed just 10 assists last year and has 61 career points in 483 games, while Rafalski scored 55 points last year alone. But Vishnevski, the fifth overall pick in 1998, brings a physical presence that should fit in well with the Devils’ style. He split last season between Atlanta and Nashville.