The Pittsburgh Penguins have agreed to terms with captain Sidney Crosby on a 12-year, $104.4 million contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2024-25 season. The annual cap hit is $8.7 million – perfectly fitting for No. 87, born on 8/7/87.
Needless to say, it’s a great – no, make that incredible – day for hockey, the Penguins and their fans. Crosby has done so much for the franchise and the city since his arrival back in 2005, and we’re looking forward to many more years of No. 87 in a Penguins jersey.
All 30 NHL teams had a chance at the first pick in the first draft following the lockout eight years ago – one that would yield 17-year-old phenom Crosby, the most hyped NHL prospect in a decade. The Penguins finished dead last in the 2003-04 standings, but had only a slightly higher chance than the other 29 clubs to land the pick.
It all came down to a ping-pong ball at the 2005 NHL Draft Lottery on July 22, 2005. And after an excruciating waiting period, Pittsburgh came away the winners – ensuring they’d land the player of a generation. A week later, the Penguins made it official when they selected Crosby with the No. 1-overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft on July 30, 2005. All it took was one fortuitous bounce for Pittsburgh to get who is now the best player in the world. And now, they have him for life.
In honor of the deal and having Crosby here for the next 12 years, we’ve decided to take a look back at everything he’s accomplished at just 24 years old. Enjoy.
- Made NHL debut on Oct. 5, 2005 at New Jersey a few short months after being drafted. Recorded an assist in 15:50 minutes of ice time.
- Scored first NHL goal (and added two assists) in his first home game as a Penguin on Oct. 8, 2005 at Mellon Arena against Boston.
- Became youngest player in NHL history to score 100 points in a season on April 17, 2006 vs. NY Islanders at Mellon Arena.
- Finished his rookie season ranked 5th in NHL scoring with 102 points (39G-63A) – breaking Mario Lemieux’s team rookie record of 100 points (1984-85).
- Finished the season with a career-best 120 points (36G-84A), becoming the youngest scoring champion in NHL history.
- Had an excellent outing at the 2007 NHL Awards, becoming the youngest Ted Lindsay (outstanding player as voted by peers) winner and 2nd-youngest league MVP (Wayne Gretzky) in addition to winning the Art Ross.
- Helped the Penguins to their first postseason appearance since 2001, scoring 3 goals and 5 points in 5 games against Ottawa.
- Named the youngest captain in NHL history (19 years, 9 months) on May 31, 2007.
- Had a career-high 6-point outburst on Dec. 14, 2006 vs. Philadelphia, collecting a goal and 5 assists as the Penguins topped the Flyers, 8-4.
- Became youngest player in NHL history to reach 200 points (19 years, 207 days) with a goal March 7, 2007 vs. Carolina.
- Led the Penguins to their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since the franchise won back-to-back titles in 1991-92.
- Tied Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg for the NHL lead in playoff scoring with 27 points (6G-21A). Crosby’s 21 assists paced the league.
- Shuffled through driving snow and managed to put the puck through Ryan Miller's pads to give Pittsburgh a 2-1 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres in front of a then-NHL record 71,217 fans at the outdoor Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2008.
- Recorded a 19-game scoring streak from Oct. 6 to Nov. 17, 2007 for 30 points (11G-19A) – the 2nd-longest stretch of his career.
- Scored the first hat trick of his career (one of five) on Nov. 29, 2008 at New Jersey.
- Despite playing in just 53 games due to injury, Crosby posted 72 points (24G-48A) during the regular season.
- Became youngest captain in NHL history to lead his team to a Stanley Cup championship (21 years old), the third title in Penguins franchise history.
- Finished the 2009 postseason with an NHL-leading 15 goals, 16 assists and 31 points in 24 games.
- Tied NHL single-season playoff record by scoring the first goal in a game 6 times.
- Set 3 career milestones on Oct. 18, 2008 with his 100th goal, 200th assist and 300th point.
- Finished the regular season with a career-high 51 goals. Shared the Rocket Richard Trophy (NHL leading goal scorer) with Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos.
- Became 3rd-youngest player to reach 500 points (22 years, 244 days) in NHL history (Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux) on April 8, 2010 – the last regular-season game played at Mellon Arena.
- Posted the second 6-point game of his career (2G-4A) on Jan. 19, 2010 vs. NY Islanders.
- Won the Mark Messier Leadership Award.
- An above-capacity crowd of 18,269 jammed into CONSOL Energy Center to watch the captain take the opening faceoff against Philadelphia’s Mike Richards in the arena’s inaugural game – a building made certain after Crosby’s arrival in 2005.
- Posted a 25-game point streak from Nov. 5 to Dec. 28, 2010, totaling 50 points (26G-24A). It’s the 3rd-longest streak in team history and tied for 8th longest in NHL history. Crosby is only the 5th player in league annals to average a goal per game in a streak of 25 games or more, joining the elite company of Wayne Gretzky, Brett Hull, Steve Yzerman and Bryan Trottier.
- Took the league by storm over the first half of the season with 32 goals and 66 points through 41 games. As former Penguin and Crosby linemate Bill Guerin said at the time of Crosby’s play, “It’s like an assault on the game.”
- Missed the rest of the year with a concussion suffered in early January 2011.
- Persevered through concussion and neck injuries that held him out of the lineup for all but 22 games.
- Despite playing just 22 games, finished with 37 points (8G-29A), a 1.68 points per game average. Recorded 13 multi-point games.
- Missed 61 games dating back to the 2010-11 season before returning to the lineup in epic fashion Nov. 21, 2011 vs. NY Islanders. Scored 2 goals, including the game winner, and 4 points in the contest, in what was an absolutely electric atmosphere at CONSOL Energy Center.
- Posted 600th career NHL point on March 30 at Buffalo – becoming 7th-fastest player to 600 (430 games) and 7th-youngest to 600 (24 years, 236 days).
- Moved into 5th place in team history for scoring with 609 points, passing Jean Pronovost (603).
- Was alternate captain of Canada's 2010 Olympic gold-medal winning team, scoring the medal-deciding OT goal against the U.S. in the Gold Medal Game.
- Career average of 1.32 postseason points per game ranks 3rd in NHL history behind only Wayne Gretzky (1.83) and Mario Lemieux (1.6) – minimum 40 games played.
- Was the top-voted player in All-Star fan balloting for 4 straight seasons (2007-10).
- Won ESPY award for Best NHL Player 4 years in a row (2007-10). Nominated for Best Comeback in 2012 ESPYs.