Sidney Crosby and the 10-year Pittsburgh Penguins contract extension

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Sidney Crosby becomes an unrestricted free agent in Summer 2013, but one imagines he'll finalize a new contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins before the rules change for player compensation and contract duration under the next CBA.

The question is how large the Penguins and Crosby want to go in keeping the captain in the Steel City.

Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports revealed some details on the Crosby contract picture during the Hot Stove report on Saturday night (watch it here via Kukla):

"He's coming into the last year of a five-year, $8.7 million a year contract. When they made that deal, his agent Pat Brisson and the Penguins discussed a longer term but decided not to do it. Now there's an appetite for it. I think we're going to have a pretty good idea by July 1 — which is the earliest they can even sign him to a deal — if it's going to get done. It might even be done by then.

"It sounds like it's going to be about 10 years. I asked about five other general managers today. You probably can't that deal insured for concussions, but [I asked], 'It's Sidney Crosby: Would you do it?' and they all said 'Yes.'

"The maximum a guy can be signed for per year is $14 million. In a non-cap world, they'd probably give Crosby $14 million year. The contract may start somewhere near there. But the GMs said that if Sidney Crosby wants to win, and they all believe he does, he'll probably going to have to take an [average annual value] around $9 million."

(FYI: Last week's "missing" news on Crosby's contract demands turned out to be an editing issue with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. It was news originally reported months ago, meant as filler in a story about Tomas Vokoun, cut from the published story and then cut from the web story. The Trib still should have issued a note as to why it was cut when its deletion made news, but I'm told there was nothing nefarious behind it.)

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CBC's Glenn Healy believes that when Crosby's annual salary cap hit rises by $300,000, that means Jordan Staal is done in Pittsburgh. Staal is also a UFA in Summer 2013.

The Penguins had been steadfast in saying that Crosby's head injury issues were never a factor in his future with the franchise -- that they wanted him "to be a Penguin for life."

In a Jan. 6 column for Sportsnet — at a time when it looked like Crosby's season was done — Nick Kypreos wrote about the financial risks in going long-term with a player who battled through significant injuries:

The franchise will be on the hook to pay him if he decides to retire. Now I'm no Warren Buffet, but that's one heck of a financial gamble to take on anyone, even if they did just build a new state of the art arena off the man's back.

The Penguins can offer Crosby a short-term deal, but will he and his agent, Pat Brisson, really be interested in that considering everything Crosby has done financially for the organization in such a short period of time? Brisson will want to hit a home run on this next deal.

Given his history, the player he is and the Penguins' financial structure, what do you think Crosby is worth?

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