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Would you still sign Sidney Crosby if he couldn’t be insured?

Feb 2, 2012, 11:50 AM EDT

Sidney Crosby Getty Images

Imagine for a minute you own an NHL team. It’s a fun thing to imagine, because then you’d be rich and travel everywhere by helicopter.

Now imagine it’s July 1, 2013, and Sidney Crosby is an unrestricted free agent. His agent calls and says Crosby wants to play for your team. You’re excited because Crosby is coming off a career season. All those injury problems feel like they happened ages ago.

Now imagine your insurance provider says it won’t insure Crosby because he has a history of concussions.

Would you still sign him?

As reported by, it’s possible this very scenario plays out in the future. And not just with Crosby; with any player with a history of concussions. Just one concussion even.

Teams would be on the hook for injured players’ multimillion-dollar contracts without any compensation from insurance companies.

“First and foremost it is potentially devastating,” Howard Bloom of Sports Business News told CTV’s Canada AM. “Its implications are really very, very terrifying for the National Hockey League and the sport of hockey.

The Penguins have managed to sidestep the huge payout for Crosby’s $9-million a year contract as the team has an insurance policy, which covers the superstar’s absence if he is injured and out of the lineup for more than 30 games.

The NHL, meanwhile, has downplayed the notion that insurance concerns could bring the league to its knees.

“It’s not a major concern to the league or to the clubs at this point in time,” said deputy commissioner Bill Daly. “We have not seen it really affect our business in a material way.”

Not yet anyway.

Related: Insuring concussed players could “alter hockey industry”

  1. sknut - Feb 2, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    It will affect guys, teams will offer lower salaries to offset the difference in the insurance payments. Thats why its in the league and NHLPA’s best interests to figure out how to handle the concussion issue before this happens.

  2. psujay - Feb 2, 2012 at 11:58 AM


  3. murtdurt - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Sid isn’t signing anywhere but Pittsburgh so this article is really pointless. He’s the best player in the world. If you want to win championships you take chances

    • bensawesomeness - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      you’re missing the point of the article if you’re caught up on that Sid’s not leaving Pittsburgh

    • kellyb9 - Feb 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM

      You know, I watch more than one sport, and if anyone said a year ago, Peyton Manning might be cut or traded, I’d laugh in their face. Doesn’t seem so funny now. If Sid doesn’t get healthy, I can see them eventually cutting ties….. eventually, but not now.

      • jpelle82 - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        if he doesnt have a good/great injury free season next year i will be pissed as a penguins fan if they gobble up cap space to sign him again on a gamble. i’m a penguins fan first and a crosby fan second. this guy hasnt had a healthy season in a long time and the kind of money he will want (and might very well deserve) is going to make it uncomfortable and hard to keep guys like letang, geno, staal, orpik, fleury. i would sign geno over sid at this point straight up if i had to pick just one.

    • blinkyhowe - Feb 2, 2012 at 10:23 PM

      The key to being the best player in the world in anything is just that… playing. Right now i would classify Crosby as the best ‘non playing’ hockey player in the world.

    • goforthanddie - Feb 2, 2012 at 10:46 PM

      Swing and a miss.

  4. soupcansid - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    That’s too bad though. I am loyal to Mario and GMRS and the best sports franchise in the world. I am announcing here on procrosbytalk that I will undoubtedly sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins. All the other teams, if you wanna call them that, can eat my ass.

  5. jamesmakesurmomneil - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Glad to hear the news there soupcan!! You set a great example for all the younger guys here in the franchise. Look forward to seeing you back. Keep in Chunky baby

  6. acieu - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Only if I needed a “woman” for afirmative actve.

    • vismund11 - Feb 2, 2012 at 12:46 PM


    • jrod691 - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:42 PM

      Congratulations on posting the most unintelligent comment I have seen on this blog so far. What would ProHockeyTalk be without such inspired reader input?

  7. jpelle82 - Feb 2, 2012 at 1:09 PM


  8. nyr1 - Feb 2, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    F*#k cindy criesby and the pens!

  9. jamesmakesurmomneil - Feb 2, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    Hey Letangshair-did u hear bob errey shout out your hair last night when ur helmet came off? Any truth to the head n shoulders contract?

    • letangshair - Feb 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM

      can’t speak about the H&S contract yet. that’s still in the works.

      but everyone knew who lost their helmet cause there was a shimmer in toronto last night. the crowd thought they saw the end of a rainbow or a shooting star. if you go back to the replay you can hear a slight “ahhh” as soon as it was exposed.

  10. toegoat - Feb 2, 2012 at 1:45 PM


  11. kennypowersmfceo - Feb 2, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    The only end of anything seen in Toronto last night was shittsburghs winning streak……maybe letang can donate some of that hair to wipe up #87paraplegics drool

  12. seanp703 - Feb 2, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    Cindy bitchby is a suckaaaaa. Caps baybeeeee

  13. blinkyhowe - Feb 2, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    Crosby is going to make NHL history and its not because he is going to be breaking Gordie or Gretzky’s records. His concussion issues and those of others will lead to changes in players being signed to long term guaranteed contracts. If teams can’t insure a concussed player..jrs, college or NHL..those players with a history are going to make less or get less years to protect the team financially. Only other option is a career ending med buyout clause for a small amount of the remaining contract.

    And talking about signing Crosby until he plays another full season and scores say 40 g is just

  14. goforthanddie - Feb 2, 2012 at 10:53 PM

    The NHL will always be able to find someone willing to provide insurance for its teams. Premiums will skyrocket, and payouts will shrink.

  15. edmontonlights - Feb 3, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Of course you do. Teams Like Toronto would sign him and they wouldn’t care at the risk.They can afford the loss. Gain is much bigger than the risk and their powerful owners have the money to gamble. Risk 50 Million, Gain Bringing the cup to Toronto. Yeaa..

    What I find interesting.. Can the Pens afford Malkin, Crosby, Letang, Fluery, Neal and Staal. All should command 5 million. closer to 8 for Malkin Crosby. You’re talking 40 -44 million dollars for six of 20 needed.

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