Sidney Crosby began his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins at just 18 years old, and he will wear a Penguins uniform until the day he retires.
Crosby and the Penguins agreed to terms on a 12-year, $104.4 million dollar extension that will keep the team’s captain in Pittsburgh through the 2024-25 season.
“Sidney wanted to be a Penguin forever,” said Pat Brisson, Crosby’s agent. “He went to this franchise when the franchise was at the bottom. He was part of the build up. He is emotionally attached to the fans, the city of Pittsburgh and the organization.”
“We felt it would be appropriate to take him to the end of his career,” Penguins general manager Ray Shero said. “I said a few months ago that our goal was to sign Sidney Crosby and make him a member of the Penguins for life.”
Pens sign Crosby to 12-year extension
The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms with Sidney Crosby on a 12-year, $104.4 million contract extension that will keep Crosby with the team through the 2024-25 season. READ MORE ›
The new contract cannot be officially signed until Sunday, July 1 due to rules under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. Crosby, 24, will play the 2012-13 season under his current contract. The new agreement will kick in at the start of the 2013-14 campaign.
The most important aspect of the contract for both Crosby and the Penguins is that the extension will have an AAV (average annual value) of $8.7 million.
“The balancing act was trying to find a contract that paid Sidney Crosby accordingly, but as Sid always says to me and he said again, ‘How does this help the team? How can I help the team?’” Shero said. “From a manager’s standpoint the AAV is always important. Near the end he came back and said this AAV is what he wanted. He’s never been reluctant to help the team out like that. We appreciate it. Ownership appreciates that. It says a lot about Crosby.”
The $8.7 million AAV gives the Penguins flexibility in the future to re-sign other current players to contracts, as well as pursuing any possible free agents.
“(Evgeni Malkin) is the reigning MVP of the league. It’s almost like having two kids that you’re equally fond of,” Shero said. “When the time comes we’ll try to make ‘Geno’ happy as well and try to make him a Penguin for a long time. That will be our mindset when we have a new CBA in place. The 8.7 (AAV) is beneficial to the team. From Sidney’s standpoint, the long-term deal is beneficial for him.”
Crosby’s career is a smorgasbord of achievements. He was the youngest captain (21) to lead his team to a Stanley Cup championship in 2009. His trophy case features the Hart (MVP), Art Ross (scoring champion), Rocket Richard (goal-scoring champion) and Ted Lindsay (outstanding player as voted by his peers).
Crosby persevered through concussion and neck injuries over the past season and a half to return and dominate the league. Despite being limited to just 22 games in 2011-12, Crosby registered 1.68 points per game with 37 total (8G-29A).
And since the season has ended, Crosby continues to be in great health and great spirits.
“He’s been training in Los Angeles. He’s feeling great,” Brisson said. “Since he came back at the end of the regular season and playoffs he felt really good. He’s been training hard and feeling really well. Compared to last summer it’s been night and day, very encouraging.”
“We believe his best days are ahead with a full summer of training, which he really didn’t have last year at all,” Shero said. “To comeback and play how he did and produce how he did bodes well for the future.”
And Crosby’s future will be in Pittsburgh. Crosby and the Penguins were confident that a deal could be reached and were delighted to come to a final agreement.
“I was pretty certain it would get taken care of, but until it’s done you’re never certain,” Shero said. “So it’s a good day for all of us. “
“(Crosby) was able to realize where he wanted to be and he wanted to be in Pittsburgh.”