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Roenick on Crosby’s contract: “Is that smart business? I don’t think so.”

Aug 21, 2012, 12:11 PM EDT

Jeremy Roenick Getty Images

it seems like forever ago that Sidney Crosby signed his 10-year contract extension with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

While some wondered quietly whether giving that long of a contract to a player with a concussion history like Crosby’s was smart, NBC’s own Jeremy Roenick ripped the lid off of it.

Roenick appeared on with Josh Rimer and spoke candidly about how a long term deals like Crosby’s may not be the greatest idea.

“I don’t mind the six-year deals. The five and six-year deals that’s OK,” Roenick said. “When you give [Ryan] Suter and [Zach] Parise those 10, 12, 13, 14-year deals that’s like… You’re committing contract suicide.”

Then Roenick got rolling on Sid the Kid’s deal.

“And then you have the Pittsburgh Penguins who give the guy who has the biggest concussion problems in all of hockey a ten-year deal… I think Sidney Crosby’s the best player in the game, don’t get me wrong, but when you have concussion problems the way that he has in the last year and a half and you give him a ten-year deal I just don’t… Is that smart business? I don’t think so.”

Ouch. Shero might be too busy shining up his Stanley Cup ring to care what Roenick has to think. It’s not as if J.R. is saying something we may have thought ourselves, it’s just he has a much more blunt way of saying it.

  1. rushledger - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    He did have that undiagnosed neck issue ever since that was dealt with he’s been good everyone is so negative, figured I’d be the negative comments out before they come flying.

    • hockeyflow33 - Aug 21, 2012 at 6:19 PM

      I’m not sure why everyone is disagreeing with what he said. It’s a pretty common-sense stance to say that a guy who has yet to really come off concussion issues probably shouldn’t be signed to a 10 year deal.

      There’s no slight to Crosby with what he said

  2. sportsfreak13 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    If only i cared what came out of this guys mouth.

    • elemeno89 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      why won’t you heed the words of a stanley cup champion? oh, wait a minute…

      • flyersgoalscoredby88 - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:12 PM

        Because no one cares what 15 – 18 of the guys on every Stanley Cup Champion have to say? This isn’t basketball, it’s a team championship.

  3. miketoasty - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Interesting, he say’s Crosby has the biggest concussion issues in the league while two players have basically been retired because of concussions (Savard, Pronger).

    • mickeyb21 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      Found that interesting as well. You can also look on the opposite side of the concussion issue in that Bergeron and Perron missed a year just like Crosby and came back and thrived with minimal issues so far.

    • mpg44 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      WhIle I don’t like JR or his opinions most of the time …. You kind of helped prove his point . That concussion history DOES lead to early retirement. Don’t matter how much skill you have, a concussion effects you just the same. Insure as hell wouldn’t have signed him to that much of a contract unless he could get through a full year without any symptoms.

    • lsxphotog - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      I would assume he means in context of his star status and that he’s pretty much the poster child for concussion-like-symptoms. To assume that Crosby’s health problems are over with is a large gamble for the Pens organization.

    • melonheadsdaddy - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:48 PM

      Pronger is 37 and on tail end of a spectacular career! Never had concussion problems at 25 so your point is moot. Jr simply saying if he’s concussed so much so early it’s a huge risk to give him a 10 yr deal…not sure why you Pitt fans get so angry at factual information..

      • miketoasty - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        Crosby hasn’t had a concussion in half a year, and was able to come back from it. Savard and Pronger could have both played at least another 5 years if not for their concussion issues. I don’t care what you say but a concussion that ends a career is more severe than any concussion that hampers one in the middle. Crosby doesn’t have to worry about waking up with headaches or sensitivity to light, Pronger and Savard do.

        Don’t get how you got that I was “mad” from my comment, just mentioning what I think, making a “comment” if you will. That is what we do here right?

  4. spavs412 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    He’s a joke scum go cry on national tv again JR about how you weren’t good enough to win a cup in Chicago

  5. claysbar - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Crosby- Roenick said what? I can’t hear him, I have have $104 million dollars plugging my ears…

    • freneticgarfieldfan - Aug 21, 2012 at 5:35 PM

      lame, an absolutely lame replica.

      • handsofsweed - Aug 21, 2012 at 6:15 PM

        Replica of what? What was claysbar replicating? Lame attempt at command of the English language.

  6. gregman98 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    The risk/reward issue of the Pens signing Crosby to a long-term deal is OLD NEWS that’s been debated all over the hockey media, including here:

    Why is any credence attached to what JR says now?

  7. myspaceyourface - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Unfortunately, Roenick is a bitter drunk. Nothing he says should be taken very seriously .

    • chrisvegas - Aug 21, 2012 at 7:04 PM

      Why because he speaks the truth?

  8. barkar942 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Personally, I would like to see Vegas make odds on how many games out of his ten year extension he doesn’t play because of concussion issues. I don’t wish him any bad luck, but I see him as another Lindros. Tremendous talent, but serious concussion issues.
    And I’ll take the odds that says he plays less than half of those games.

  9. jacketsfan7 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    As a pens fan I would wait another season but that’s when his contract expires and they don’t wanna take any risks do yes it was very smart locking him up

    • flyersgoalscoredby88 - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      I wish they’d done that. Mostly because Ed Snider would have offered him an 8 year max deal…Snider wouldn’t care if he got injured with an uninsurable contract…the Pens on the other hand risk losing their entire fanbase (again) if Crosby isn’t able to play and Malkin walks…so the Pens would have had to have chosen which player.

  10. biasedhomer - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    He speaks the truth. A 10 year deal is a long commitment. They should have given him 6-7 years.

  11. sjsharksfan11 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Love JR. The guy calls a spade a spade. People can’t handle the truth either

  12. sjsharks66 - Aug 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    JR is an ass. All he does is talk a lot of trash and never has anything positive to say. Can anyone imagine a show with JR and Cherry? That would be torture.

    • supercoop8 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      with Milbury as band leader

  13. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    JR would be the Matt Millen of hockey if someone would be stupid enough to give him a shot.

    I’d start every convo with JR by reminding him he never won anything in the Q, World Juniors, Canada Cup, Olympics, World Championship, or in the NHL.

  14. mickeyb21 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    I don’t get why the contract is such a huge risk. The penguins have money now because they have Sid. They will continue to make money during the life of his contract whether or not Sid is on LTIR. IF is gets injured he is put on LTIR. They have cap space again. IF he gets too injured to continue, he can retire and the cap space opens up again. The only issue I can see is that he gets injured, but continues playing at a low level. Seeing how he played when he returned from his previous concussion, I do not see that as an issue until many years down the line, when the cap will be much higher anyways.

    • mickeyb21 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:36 PM

      If you disagree with what I stated, please give me a reason. I have been wondering this since the contract rumors started and have not gotten a intelligent response.

      • ray2013 - Aug 21, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        I think you’d have to compare the concerns over Sid’s health to Rick DiPietro’s situation. He could be a big hole in the salary cap without being put on LTIR. $100 million over the next ten years is a gamble that he will stay healthy enough to finish his contract. Best case: he plays out his contract and appears in 800+ games. Worst case; he appears in a handful of games and misses huge chunks of the next ten seasons going in and out of the lineup, so they get no relief from retirement or LTIR. Even if there is insurance for his contract, the team still has to pay insurance premiums, and you can bet that those premiums will be pretty steep. So the revenues they get from having Sid in the lineup could be washed away from the expenses of an injured Sid.

      • msmall77 - Aug 22, 2012 at 11:02 AM

        The thing for me is that, although what you have said is true today, it may not be tomorrow. What I mean is I have worries about the new CBA, whenever it gets done, and how it will affect situations like this. They were stuck between a rock and a hard place due to trying to lock him up before contracts are restricted in length, so they did it, but no one knows what the new rules will be. They may not be able to stash this money somewhere, which is where the problem may come in. Remember, you can’t make assumptions of any sort about what the new CBA will hold.

    • mpg44 - Aug 22, 2012 at 6:42 AM

      The cap space may open up , but they would still have to pay him. This is a battle between cap space and actual money. Would you like to pay a ton of money for something that’s broke… I sure would not!!

  15. florida727 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    I wonder if JR happened to think through the fact that just like in virtually every professional sport, most hockey contracts are insured against injury? What? You think Pittsburgh didn’t insure Crosby’s contract in the event he was “unable to perform”?

    I covered the Blackhawks for a Chicago sports radio station. Only did it for a year, but happened to be in the locker room after the last regular season game when JR scored his 50th goal of the season. As the (very) junior reporter on the scene, I politely waited my turn to interview him. I was the last guy there. Must have waited close to an hour. I have to give JR credit… he answered every one of my stupid questions as if it was the first time he’d heard it (and you know it wasn’t). He then showered and left… with two stunningly attractive blondes with him, piled into his BMW and left. One of only two athletes allowed to part their car inside the old Chicago Stadium. The other was Michael Jordan. He might be perceived as a prick now, but back then he treated even insignificant guys like me as if we were important. Thanks, JR.

    • chibimike - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:31 PM


      • florida727 - Aug 22, 2012 at 9:53 AM

        You did read the part of the article that said it MAY not be insurable, right? Speculative. NOT factual. Got a link to a follow-up article that definitively states the contract is not insured?

      • chibimike - Aug 23, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        I haven’t seen any article that state the Penguins have managed to get insurance for his contract.

        Realistically, who would be willing to insure this long a contract for a player who missed a year due to concussions, without charging a fortune. What are the odds that Crosby ends up leaving early due to concussion or misses another year or more? At this point maybe 50/50. So the insurer would have to charge more than 1/2 the price of the contract as a premium in order for it to make business sense.

  16. drunkbro - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    roenick loves working up those pens fans as much as flyers fans do.. he calls the players out for whining and then calls the fans out on twitter out for whining on t

  17. drunkbro - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    roenick loves working up those pens fans as much as flyers fans do.. he calls the players out for whining and then calls the fans out on twitter out for whining

    • melonheadsdaddy - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      You drunk bro? You just posted the same thing twice…

  18. kitshky - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    I’m so sick and tired of hearing about these non existent “concussion issues” that are going to end Crosby’s career within a few years.

    He doesn’t have the biggest concussion issues in the game … he’s just the biggest player in the game to have a concussion.

    Yes it was a major concussion, yes he continued to play, and of course he suffered for that. Since then (as been mentioned a million times) he suffered from a neck injury (physical injury unrelated to the brain) that was misdiagnosed as a concussion, and has now been cleared to play.

    We’re talking about locking up one of the most profitable assets (on the ice and off the ice) in the game today for the next decade at basically the same cap hit that he’s costing you now … that’s pretty good business from this seat.

  19. pepper2011 - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    I agree to a point. These long term deals; I am not a fan of. Look at Gomez and Redden, but those were 6 and 7 year deals. The Kovy, Parise, Sutter deals are scary cause one high ankle sprain, or surgically repaired knee and these guys could be worth half what they are now. It’s fine for the Pens because if he does go the route of Savard (who had just signed a long term deal) you can always LTIR him and not loose the cap space. It’s it good for the Pens bottom line? who knows(who cares)? having him locked up and the face of the franchise (playing or not) for a decade can’t be the worst thing. Although I do think they really should set a max contract length.

  20. lsxphotog - Aug 21, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    It’s interesting. If you’re a Crosby fan, you’ll look past the facts at hand and why JR said what he did. 63 games. That’s how many regular season games Crosby has played out of the last 164. That is a TREMENDOUS fact that cannot be overlooked because, as we’ve seen, once you have a concussion, you’re more susceptible to receive another one. My brother has three hockey concussions…not fun.

    So was it smart for the Pens to look at this guy who bleeds gold, black, and white – sit down, and sign a paper that guarantees him money for the next 10 years? Why not do a 5 or 6? There is no telling what will happen with Sid over the next few seasons and you KNOW he would try to resign with the Pens once his contract was up.

    I agree with what JR said. It was a terrible idea for the Pens to make this deal with the information at hand concerning Crosby’s current health status.

  21. martysbetter - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    “it’s not so much me as it is Roenick”

  22. hockeyfan1701 - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Roenick cannot get over the 4-0 sweep the Penguins did to him in the 1992 finals.

  23. ndrdog - Aug 21, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    It’s strange, I keep doing Google searches for “Jeremy Roenick” and “Stanley Cup” and it just keeps coming back empty…..I guess my Google must be broken or something because I’m sure a guy like Jeremy Roenick must have at least a few rings the way he criticizes everyone else.

    • 81redneck - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      And ndrog, your name got engraved on the Stanley Cup from what year you played again?……. hold on let me go and Google “ndrog” and see what I come up with….

      ah here it is, I found it …..

      All’s im seeing here is a picture of a hom*ose*xual

      • handsofsweed - Aug 21, 2012 at 6:22 PM

        Quit putting your sister’s panties on while you stare endlessly into her vanity mirror.

        Problem solved.

  24. oldmanhockey - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Burkle and Lemieux have made so many good business decisions that they can afford it if this one turns out not to be their best!

  25. atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 21, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    Putting the concussion/whiplash issues aside, I wouldn’t have given Crosby a 10 year contract because I wouldn’t give anyone a 10 year contract, I think they’re bad business, sign a player for 5 years, if he continues to excel and is worth it you sign him for 5 more.

  26. bobbygene15108 - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Jeremy …WHO ?

  27. mrrodgershood - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:41 PM

    So Roenick is going to talk about smart business decisions and not understand that Crosby’s issues were neck related and not concussion related? Boy!

  28. Vintage Hockey Barn - Aug 21, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    Reblogged this on .

  29. chrisvegas - Aug 21, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    I hate to say it but I think he is right. 10 year contracts are to long for anyone. He is right about Crosby’s contract. Ten years is to long for a guy who is one concussion away from retirement. It isn’t like he is being disrespectful. If Crosby has a career ending concussion next year, then Pen fans are going to be blasting the organization for signing him long term.

    • sportsfreak13 - Aug 21, 2012 at 9:35 PM

      Do you blast holmgren for prongers and bryzgalovs contracts? Also you wouldn’t give giroux a 10 year deal even though he too has a history with concussions?

    • sportsfreak13 - Aug 21, 2012 at 10:23 PM

      Forgot to mention holmgren offering 3 10+ year 100 million $ contracts to shea weber, zach parise and ryan sutter

      • melonheadsdaddy - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM

        Yes w blast homer for that. BRYZ signing is awful… Prongers was a 7 year deal (I think) but still 3 years too many…parise ans suter were NEVER…repeat…NEVER going to sign here…everyone knew that. But made them consider us over rest of the Atlantic that’s for sure…would have LOVED weber on that issues currently. Giroux has had one concussion after getting kneed in back of head..not exactly a “history” of concussions..

      • sportsfreak13 - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        Crosby has only had 1 concussion and 1 neck injury which produced concussion like symptoms. The miss diagnose is why the pens cleaned house with their medical staff. So while more severe then giroux he too only has had 1 concussion. Yet I’m sure you’ll agree he has a ” history” with concussions. To clarify for the illiterate giroux has had 1 concussion in the past therefore he has a history with the injury known as a concussion.

      • melonheadsdaddy - Aug 22, 2012 at 5:55 PM

        YOURE an idiot. 2 concussions might constitute an “history”. One concussion is simply that: a concussion.

      • melonheadsdaddy - Aug 22, 2012 at 5:58 PM

        I missed your “Crosby has only had one concussion” statement. If that is true than I apologize. Just confused as to how you miss that much time from one concussion come back and play 9 games and sit again after yet another concussion…

      • sportsfreak13 - Aug 22, 2012 at 6:42 PM

        I can’t really say it slower over the internet so I’ll use caps. THE SECOND INJURY WAS A NECK INJURY WHICH WAS TISSUE DAMAGE THAT CAUSES THE SAME SYMPTOMS AS A CONCUSSION. Here’s a ESPN article if you need proof

  30. mojosmagic - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:25 PM

    Cindy cried and Shero gave in.

  31. hitem396 - Aug 21, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    what are these bad comments???

    he is all TRUE. over 10yr contracts are so unreal. who seen these kind of contract in any other pro league in the world ? Magic Johnson? pujols? ok then who else? each league has a couple of 10yrs contracts. NHL has sid, ovi, parise, suter, weber, kovalchuk, luingo, quick…..and else

    even NBA limits the lenght of contract now. CBA shuld be changed on this. Swallowing cap hit with 10yr deal is just a temporary expedient. UNREAL

  32. csilojohnson - Aug 21, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Why is this still being talked about? It was a misdiagnosed neck injury. No relation to brain, just similer symptoms. Mikey, no risk, people are just idiots, and dont think before they start spewing crap.

  33. blomfeld - Aug 22, 2012 at 12:16 AM

    Surprise Surprise !

    Crosby’s contract is no different than many of the other “idiotic” deals which have been struck in recent times. The New Jersey Devils attempting to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a 17-year contract, which was rejected by the NHL … then there’s Dipietro signing a 15 year deal in Long Island … Luongo a 12 year deal in Vancouver … and more recently, these clowns Parise and Suter signing in MSP for 10 years a piece. The bottom line is that the owners and players are destroying each other and the league, with their “unbridled” arrogance and flippancy. The one “key” variable in all of this however is the “fan” … and for some reason, these fools are under an illusion that the “fan” will always be there for them ? If this season is shortened as I now predict it will be, then look for the “fan” to walk away from this game in “numbers” which will make these stupid contracts worth nothing more than the paper they’re written on ! …

  34. pugdog1228 - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    I hate the coward known as Crosby. Hope he gets concussed again, preferably by Malkin like he did in the playoff game against Flyers. A vicious hit, by his own teammate. Oh, Claude Giroux has surpassed him as the best in the NHL. There is no question that today, every coach in the NHL would take Claude over the whiner. No contest.

    • pens5829 - Aug 22, 2012 at 9:58 AM

      Dude. You got issues you need to take care of.

  35. seannyz89 - Aug 22, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    JR’ s comments were right on. All he was saying was these long term deals are huge risks. He acknowledged that Sid is the best player in the game but with a ton of baggage. Yes baggage. You don’t think guys are trying to knock his ass out. One more big hit and he could be done. Don’t wanna see that but concussions are no joke as we now see in sports

  36. eyeh8goodell - Aug 22, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Roebuck should get his facts straight, as should many of you. One of Crosby’s “concussions” was a misdiagnosed neck injury that produces concussion like symptoms. That’s why the Pens medical staff was fired.

    • kitshky - Aug 22, 2012 at 5:53 PM

      You probably shouldn’t be calling people out … only to smugly make a point that has been made at least 3 – 4 times already. Just saying.

  37. joewilliesshnoz - Aug 22, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    What a douche !

  38. sportsfreak13 - Aug 22, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    I can’t really say it slower over the internet so I’ll use caps. THE SECOND INJURY WAS A NECK INJURY WHICH WAS TISSUE DAMAGE THAT CAUSES THE SAME SYMPTOMS AS A CONCUSSION. Here’s a ESPN article if you need proof

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