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Report: Crosby’s contract may not be able to be insured

Jun 30, 2012, 10:52 AM EDT

Sidney Crosby Getty Images

Sidney Crosby‘s monster contract extension of 12-years, $104 million didn’t come without some questions. One of the biggest was how the Pittsburgh Penguins would be able to get such a huge deal for a guy with concussion problems insured. Turns out it may not be possible.

Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports the Penguins may not get Crosby’s new deal covered by insurance, meaning they’re on the hook for big bucks no matter what.

Crosby, 24, has missed all but 63 games the past two seasons because of concussion symptoms. He and the Penguins agreed to a 12-year contract worth $104.4 million — all of it guaranteed. The team will present the contract to the league Sunday for approval.

Insurance companies offer teams protection against career-ending injuries, but Crosby’s concussion history is considered a pre-existing condition. If Crosby cannot finish his contract because of a concussion-related injury, he will still be paid in full, but the Penguins would not receive assistance from an insurance policy on the deal, sources said.

That would be quite a bit of money virtually flushed away. Good thing for the Penguins they’re now playing in a new arena and they’re a team that brings in a lot of cash as it is thanks to ticket sales and merchandise. That means should Crosby wind up getting hurt again and put his career in doubt, his contract won’t bankrupt the team.

Rossi also reports Crosby’s deal will be more front-loaded so as to pay him up sooner rather than later. It’s best to get more of that cash out of the way now than have it waiting to be paid later. The future can be murky that way and Crosby’s best years are more likely to happen now than ten years down the road.

  1. drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Wow. The albatross just gained 50 pounds.

    • bmscalise - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:29 PM

      You just wish keeping the world’s best player around Pittsburgh was an albatross. Everyone said this contract isn’t fully insurable because of its term anyway.

      Besides, all the Flyers and Caps fans calling for Sid’s imminent demise simply aren’t educated about the situation. Doctors agree that you are not at a greater risk for a head injury if you’ve had one before, regardless of what insurance companies say. Period. That’s what the science suggests. Lindros, Kariya, Primeau, Savard, etc, lost their careers because their injuries weren’t treated properly. They sustained multiple concussions by refusing to stay of the ice before they healed – which indeed makes one more prone.

      It’s unfortunate these players (with the exception of Savard) played in an era before head injuries were taken seriously. But Sid’s situation is just not comparable. He had the patience and support to do the right thing – like, say, Bergeron – and can expect a long career because of it. He might get another concussion a couple years down the road – just as any player might. But there’s no legitimate reason to expect it would end his career (just like Bergeron’s concussion this past season didn’t end his career, despite having a major concussion before).

      A good write-up addressing the issue:

    • drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Wishing? I’m a Bruins fan, and I want Sid to overcome his injuries and immaturity so he actually becomes great.

      Please don’t jump to conclusions.

      • sportsfreak13 - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM

        what you mean “becomes” great. He has a cup a gold medal (gw goal). His stats r crazy good and he’s 24. In the past 2 seasons he played 63 games, 692 players played more games then him yet only 90 scored as many goals (40) as him during that stretch. If that’s not great I don’t know what is.

  2. drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Also, the contract can’t be *that* front-loaded or it will be rejected by the NHL a la Kovalchuk deal.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      I love how homers downthumb entirely unemotional, factual statements.

      • kitshky - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        I think they’re just downthumbing your constant negativity..

      • drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 7:24 PM

        I’m being negative when I’m stating facts? OK.

    • claysbar - Jun 30, 2012 at 7:34 PM

      Not sure where the Crosby contract would fall. The big problem with Kovies contract was that it would have him playing into his mid-40’s. Crosby would be 35-36 when his is done. I saw on the Pens sight that the CBA requires that the top 6 contracts a team has must be insured but contracts over 7 years would not be covered. Not sure if this means the insurance will only cover the first 7 years and then the team is on the hook or what. Hell, if they won’t insure and it has to be insured, this deal may be voided ny the NHL. Time will tell

  3. ravenscaps48 - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Yeah. This has to be the correct way of doing things. Even if it was Backstrom for us, I wouldn’t back this contract because of a concussion problem. I hope Sid stays healthy… Fun to watch, great talent, just plays for the wrong city

    • babykaby - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:34 AM

      Change your name. You are NOT a Caps or Ravens fan.

  4. melonheadsdaddy - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    Interesting….I guess all those “PHDs” from the previous post werent so far off after all eh soup can? Better hope this guy stays healthy or it’s gonna be really ugly in Pittsburgh. The fans might completely disappear….oh wait. That already happened once…


  5. kitshky - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Its a pre-ex … that wouldn’t make the whole contract uninsurable, the Penguins would be at risk only in the case of a career ending concussion.

    Again, as Mario said, there’s never been a more valuable Penguin than Crosby. From a business perspective it’s still a contract you have to sign .. .let’s not forget he’s still only 24 years old.

  6. drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    The Crosby deal has a chance to hamstring the whole org. If they don’t sign Malkin, that’s a major problem. If they do sign Malkin, and Crosby gets hurt (which is likely), they’re going to have a lot of trouble having a good enough supporting cast to see them through.

    • sportsfreak13 - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      So your telling me when crosby was injured the last 2 seasons at the same cap hit that the pens had “alot of trouble having a good enough supporting cast to see them through”. IF he did get injured he would go on LTIR like pronger and the team would be able to use his cap space. The team already has a season ticket waiting list of 8,000, 5 years of consecutive sellouts, #1 local ratings in the NHL, and a brand new #1 arena. That plus the fact that our ownership is a california billionaire and one of the wealthiest men in the world right now makes your statement look sooooo stupid.

      • redux12 - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:28 AM

        And you only have these things because of Crosby. Before you guys drafted him, you were on the verge of bankruptcy (again) and there were talks of “THE FRANCHISE” changing cities (again). Your fan base is only loyal so long as the team is winning.

      • sportsfreak13 - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        If you think that lack of fan interest and support had everything to do with the bankruptcy and not poor ownership and management from the teams executives then your uneducated to real life events and there is no talking to you till you grow up and experience it yourself. Pittsburgh isnt the biggest city and it took time and patience to grow into a hockeytown. Sure attendance wasnt great for some years and the team almost left (twice) but just like 1975 thats all behind this organization and now they have created one of the top organizations in the NHL in a city of 560,000. Thats quite the accomplishment.

      • drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:08 PM

        It looks like I might be wrong anyway, thanks to the ever-expanding cap and the fact that Malkin was cap-expensive already.

        FWIW they did just degrade their 2012-13 team by swapping Staal for Sutter.

        But regardless of whether you’re right or not, thanks for being a douche.

    • kitshky - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      First of all, the set back last year was misdiagnosed as a concussion and was in reality a neck injury so despite what you guys keep saying, Crosby does not have a Lafontaine-like history of concussions. Yes he’s had a major concussion, and yes that can have unpredictable and very different effects on players … but you guys keep acting like he’s a Lindros here.

      Secondly, if he was to get injured he would go on the LTIR and he wouldn’t count against the cap so no … they’d have no problem “getting a good enough supporting cast to see them through”. (and if you’re talking about the Pengiuns being able to afford the actual dollars, that’s just silly, simply having Crosby in the Organization probably pays for the contract.)

      • drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:12 PM

        He’s likely one concussion away from being Lindros.

    • tsi431 - Jun 30, 2012 at 5:36 PM

      Crosby single handily saved this whole organization. If it wasn’t for him, they would of moved or dissolved completely. The Penguins owe pretty much everything today to him and Mario. But mostly Sid.

  7. ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    This isn’t even a story.

    -Everyone INCLUDING the penguins knew they couldn’t insure any long term contract for him.

    -Any team, whether it be the penguins or not, would have signed him to a long term deal because he still averaged 1.68 points per game after missing over 100 games.

    -Burkle is worth 3.5 Billion, so 104 million is chump change.

    So the bottom line……….non story.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      Not everybody, e.g. several Pens fans in the Crosby-signing thread.

  8. phillyphever - Jun 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    It’s still a risk. Yes I know he had a neck issue instead of a concussion last year, but it’s still scary that it was the neck. Other than head injuries, neck injuries are the worst kinds to suffer. Ask the Colts how much they feared Peyton Manning’s neck. One more wrong hit and he’s on a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Same thing can happen to Crosby.

  9. broadstbully33 - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Kansas City Penguins?

    • sportsfreak13 - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      just like your Stanley cup dreams for the past 37 years. It didn’t happen. You could say like your 2010 season though it did come close. Water under the bridge. Move along troll.

    • handsofsweed - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:55 PM

      Philadelphia Seventy-Fivers?

      • melonheadsdaddy - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:44 PM

        Still more loyal to our teams the pitt will ever be…win or lose we stick around…can’t say the same about you guys…

      • sportsfreak13 - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:56 PM

        sure it has nothing to do with the 1.5 million more people in your city?

  10. pdmjr - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Crosby will play out his contract. If something happens they will still pay him with future dollars.
    He will have no cap hit.
    Malkin aint goin anywhere.

    #9 from the Devils is now a Pen

  11. 81rebel - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    One hit away from being a vegetable in the discount bin at the supermarket!! LOL.. we love it , this is a not to smart of a move for the long term… and the rest of the Eastern Conference teams and their fans are chuckling at Pittsburgh right about now.

    • handsofsweed - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      No they aren’t. They are focusing on their own preparations for tomorrow’s business.

    • kitshky - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:38 PM

      Ya exactly … they’re all sitting there chuckling to themselves that Crosby has shown their stars that the classy thing to do is commit to their original franchise and sign a long term contract without imposing a larger cap hit.

      He’s a superstar whos had one major concussion … get some class and stop wishing for someone to get injured.

    • babykaby - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:47 AM

      I’m not a Pittsburgh fan, or a Crosby fan, I AM a hockey fan. Anyone who is a hockey fan does NOT want to see Crosby out of the game, Like him or not, you have to respect his ability and own up to the fact that you enjoy seeing him play against your team. If any Eastern Conference team had Crosby on their roster they would want to sign him long term regardless of possible future injuries. It is hard to come across stars that have the drawing power and abilities of a Crosby, Ovechkin, Malkin, so when you get one, you want to keep him. Just cross your fingers and hope it works out.

  12. mclovinhockey - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    Hope he stays healthy just cause I am not a dick, this contract is scary and I agree. Before Pitt was GIVEN (not won the draft lottery) the Crosby pick, the pens had a horrible fan base. They were about to sell the team to a different city. Not like it was the first time or last time the NHL helped a team they wanted to keep in the NHL by breaking some rules. Anyway if the does approve this contract I think it may hurt them in the long run. Sid deserves that money but do you really think an injury prone player will play 3 or 4 years in his 30s after his pay drops from 12 mill to 3 mill??

  13. mclovinhockey - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    Oh and not sure where you are getting that the pens have the number 1 arena and number 1 attendance… The pens new arena is still small as hell, if it was the size of the habs, hawks or even flyers arena I doubt they would be able to keep selling out.

    Top 4 over the past 10 years in attendance in the league in no order. Leads, habs, flyers, wings…
    Just some facts, not opinions

    • sportsfreak13 - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM

      didnt say # attendance said #1 local viewers (tv) in the nhl market. Their local TV ratings were tops among both NHL and NBA teams last season. That’s saying something considering Pittsburgh isn’t a big market. #1 arena was meant not by size but by quality and their probably not 1 but defiantly in the top 5.

    • sportsfreak13 - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      your telling me a team with a season waiting list of 8,000 couldn’t sell 2,000 more seats per game to compete with wells Fargo 20,000 capacity as compared to consoles 18,087. I know Pittsburgh only has 560,000 population compared to Philly 2 million but come on man.

    • bru308 - Jun 30, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      Wow do you realize the population difference between Pitt and Philly? There’s so many people in Philly, it’s easy to fill the seats… ie Phillies, Eagles, Sixers all have great attendance records. Doesn’t mean you have “better fans”. Its called math

  14. chiadam - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    His contract SHOULDN’T bankrupt the team. There are no guarantees. A lot of the revenue the team generates is because of Crosby. If he were forced into retirement (and no one who loves hockey should want that to happen), it might be take a financial toll on the team. As for me, I want him on the ice. I don’t root for the Pens, but he’s the best player in the world. I like to watch him play.

  15. vokounviolatesvirginvag - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    the soup can army gets stronger and stronger every day. let the jealousy begin boys!!!!

  16. drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Can anyone tell me what happened to make the Pens feasible in Pittsburgh?

    If it was “just” Crosby plus Malkin plus winning, the Pens may have a relocation issue again if Crosby does turn into Lindros.

    • sportsfreak13 - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      ownership now spends to the cap Max due to stable ownership and when you put a competitive team on the ice fans show up. The players names change but the logo remains and stars will always replace stars (Mario, jagr) now Crosby and malkin. It starts with ownership and when you have a billionaie with Burlke and a nhl savy Mario the product on the ice doesn’t appear set to diminish therefore neither will the fans interest.

    • bmscalise - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      A salary cap – which didn’t exist when the Pens were having trouble staying afloat. That’s really too complicated for you to understand?

    • bru308 - Jun 30, 2012 at 4:54 PM

      drewsylvania… you’ve made some pretty irrelevant statements on this thread. Ownership + Salary Cap + new arena. Thats what stops that from happening again.

      • handsofsweed - Jun 30, 2012 at 7:00 PM

        He doesn’t give a crap about reality. Quit wasting your breath.

      • drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 7:28 PM

        It’s the same ownership (Lemieux et al) that nearly left Pittsburgh.

        I hope you guys don’t represent Pens fans at all, because you act like I’m baiting you every time I ask a question or say anything.

      • sportsfreak13 - Jun 30, 2012 at 8:09 PM

        again not true drewsylvania. Ron Burkle the 3.2 billion $ man didn’t join ownership until pens first declared bankruptcy. After the lockout when we got Crosby he opened his wallet on the free agent market and since then its been nothing but good times.

    • drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 7:26 PM

      If you guys would just stop making assumptions that when I ask questions, I’m trolling, we could all get along.

  17. billobrienschindimple - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    ” LOL.. we love it ,this is a not to smart of a move for the long term…”

    The irony of this sentence is fantastic. Apparently you are not TOO smart.

  18. rushledger - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Jonathan toews has had some serious concussions but if he got a contract like this no one would say anything because only Sidney Crosby gets put under the microscope

    • drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 7:32 PM

      Toews is a quiet guy and Chicago has Kane to kick around. There’s no second fiddle in Pittsburgh, and Crosby’s mouth is constantly flapping.

      • drewsylvania - Jun 30, 2012 at 7:33 PM

        (second fiddle in the media-story department, not on the ice)

  19. blomfeld - Jun 30, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    PENGUIN & FLYER Dresses Now on Sale for only $9.99 ! ….

    Buy two and get a third one free !!!

    This signing is a “massive” mistake which makes the Luongo deal look like chump change ! Nonetheless, personally I have nothing against the Penguins and so God bless them and God speed to their cause … now on a more relevant topic, could we please have more articles here about the reigning STANLEY CUP CHAMPION Los Angeles Kings ? … ie: the “best” hockey team in the world today ! … thanks :)

    • handsofsweed - Jun 30, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      You still smack it to pics of Dolly Parton, don’t you? (Don’t lie, just Love it Tender).

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