Crosby putting team first

Sidney Crosby agreeing to a 5 year extension worth 43 million yesterday was a great day for the Penguins and the city of Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby did what many professional sports athletes don’t do. He actually took a pay cut and is putting the team first. There have been mixed reviews from fans around Pittsburgh regarding Sid commanding 8.7 million per season. Some are happy about the deal and others feel he isn’t helping the team out after only taking a 1.3 million per season discount. This is how i look at it. When you have the games top player you pay him what he wants and be happy with any discount he gives you. It’s not just the seats he fills, it’s the merchandise, t.v. ratings and national exposure he brings to the table. Most players want to get paid and win. In most cases they can’t have both and 90% of the time the players go with the money instead of taking a few million less for a chance to win and be happy. Does anybody remember Bobby Bonilla? The Pirates had a 5 year offer worth 20 million on the table for Bonilla and he signed in New York for 25 million for 5 years. Bonilla was never the same player and people close to Bonilla say he was never happy in New York and regretted the decision. Playing in his backyard played a role in Bonilla going to New York but if the Mets would have offered 3-5 million less he would have never signed in New York. Sid may be missing out on 7 million over long haul of his contract but he’s a unique athlete who just wants to win and be happy.

Alan Muir of CNNSI is taking a lot of heat over his article about Sidney Crosby’s contract. Muir explains in his article that the Crosby signing could cost the Penguins a shot at the Cup. He makes some good points and i heard him on espn radio today. I don’t agree with his assumption that the Crosby signing will hinder the Penguins chance of winning but he is exactly right that its going to take about 30 million towards their cap to lock up the big 5. Like i said most players in the same situation would have commanded the max. Muir did make a vaild point about how he doesn’t expect the salary cap to rise. To many media figures are jumping to the conclusion that the cap will rise during the duration of Crosby’s contract. One player i do worry about is Evgeni Malkin. He is going to want to be paid and people close to him are saying he will command atleast 7 million per season on his next contract.

Projections per season
Crosby- 8.7
Whitney- 4
Malkin – 7
Staal 4.5
Fleury – 4

The Penguins have signed defenseman Alex Goligoski to a two year deal. Goligoski had a phenomenal junior year at the University of Minnesota and on most nights outplayed 2006 #1 overall pick Erik Johnson.

Latest rumors
Two sources have told me the Penguins are not happy with Colby Armstrong who filed for arbitration last week. The Penguins had a two year deal on the table worth 850k in 07-08 and 900k in 08-09. The two sides have not spoken since last week but are expected to touch base next week.

Update on Michel Therrien. The Penguins latest offer to Michel Therrien was a 2 year extension worth around 800k. Therrien is believed to be seeking a 3 year extension but the two sides appear close to an 2 year extension with a club option for a 3rd i have been told. What a summer for the Penguins.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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