The guy knows that Ray Shero wants to start talking contract extension. Sidney Crosby wants to start talking contract extension as well. Sid’s selling point is that he’s the best player in the league. As the best player in the league, he’s bound to ask for the most money in the league, right? Right?
Negotiations are going to be tough, mainly because Sid is so talented. If the Pens don’t get a contract in place, Every other team would be willing to pony up for the best player in the league. But the Pens want to keep the ridiculous core of young talent together, which could be damn near impossible.
But Sid knows this. In the collective bargaining agreement, Sid could ask for the max contract available, which would be 20 percent of the salary cap ceiling of $50.3 mil. That would come to $10.06 mil over four years. But if Sid does that, then you can kiss Geno, Jordan, MAF and/or Angelo goodbye. Ryan Whitney just got $24 mil over 6 years. Signing him was a priority. Sid is a bigger one. If Shero doesn’t play his cards right, the Pens can have a huge problem on their hands.
Sid’s made it completely clear that he’d be willing to take less money to give Shero wiggle room in signing the other young stars over the next few seasons. MJ had his Pippen/Rodman/Paxson/Grant/Kerr. Gretzky had his Messier/Anderson/Fuhr/Coffey/Moog. Even a Derek Jeter had his Brosius/O’Neill/Posada/Williams. Sid can’t do it alone, despite his stake as best player in the game.
But Shero can’t come with a number that’s too low. I know that Sid has an unstated loyalty to Pittsburgh and his housemate Mario Lemieux, but don’t try to tell me the best player in the league wouldn’t try to get more money elsewhere if he felt purposefully slighted by Pittsburgh. We’d be dumb to believe that. Shero has to make a lot of people happy, including us bloggers, so that the team has a legitimate shot at bringing a Cup back to the Steel City in the near future.
However, it is nice to know that Sid is aware of the complications of having so many young (potential) stars on the team. If he wants to win a Cup, his best chance of doing so is with this group in Pittsburgh. Teams rarely assemble the type of young talent that the Pens currently have. Yes, it took some really awful years to get the top-notch talent, but that’s in the past. The future is where the Pens need to look. Sid’s already looking there. Hopefully both sides come up with a feasible figure to ensure a happy working future for the MVP and the organization.