Handcuffed

To the surprise of many today, the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they will be signing Sidney Crosby to a 12 year, $104.4 million contract extension. Under normal circumstances this deal would not even be questioned. Too bad for the Penguins that these are far from normal circumstances.

The Sidney Crosby concussion saga has done its part into making head injuries a hot topic all across North America. Following his second concussion in December, I said that Crosby was done. The jury is still out on that one but they are leaning towards a unanimous decision of him being just fine.

However, one bad hit and it might all be over. That’s the fear of anyone who cares about hockey.

Thing is, the Pittsburgh Penguins had no other choice. I guess they could have waited for him to play out the season but that’s not how you treat the best player in the world. Crosby made hockey relevant again in the city of Pittsburgh. They had to give him what he wants.

Ray Shero’s hands were tied, you know, with one of those really good sheepshank knots.

Until, or if, Alexander Ovechkin returns to his old form, Sidney Crosby is the only true superstar left in the NHL. And unlike the NBA, MLB or NHL, Sid, who is not so much a Kid anymore, is the consensus top player in the league. $104 million over 12 years may not be a price tag worthy of Wal-Mart but it’s more than fair.

All Ray Shero can do is kneel beside his bed and pray every night. Well, he might want to think about doing that in the morning as well but you get the idea.

Obviously, this is not a debate without the concussion questions surrounding Crosby. Even with the concussions though, the inevitable debate surrounding the contract extension is pointless. Sidney Crosby does not have to play 8-12 years to justify this decision of the Penguins brass to sign him to an extension with a year still left on his original 5 year $43 million deal.

The kid born in Halifax, Nova Scotia has already justified receiving this contract. He justified it when he came back from both of his extended stints up in the press box like he hadn’t missed a game. In 22 regular season games last year, Crosby racked up 37 points, which would have been good for 137 points if he had played the full 82 games. During his shortened 2010-11 season he was on pace for 132 points. Both would have been career highs.

The Penguins are aware of the risk. They simply had to overcome their worst fears to make this happen.

This is like the Portland Trail Blazers drafting Greg Oden. It had to be done.

Superstars are treated differently. Anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves. Crosby could, but hopefully not, go down the Brett and Eric Lindros hazy journey through post-concussion symptoms and it wouldn’t change anything about the thinking behind this process. The fact of the matter is, he hasn’t taken the scary journey down Lindros way, not yet. Who knows, as doubtful as it is, maybe the Penguins medical staff have some positive insider information on Crosby’s situation.

Hindsight is 20-20. Alas, the Penguins weren’t able to locate an authentic psychic. So like everyone else, they’re going into these next 12 years blind. The fate of the franchise resting on a head that is quite possibly as fragile your mother’s fine china.

But at this moment in time, I’m sure Ray Shero wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Agree? Disagree? You can also E-mail Chris at cross_can15@hotmail.com or reply in the comments section below.

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

4 Responses to Handcuffed

  1. Yes. He will be a true Penguin legend now!

  2. tophatal says:

    Chris

    ‘It never ceases to amaze me how fans of the NHL talk about this game as if there’s sanity and common sense being shown . There’s not one iota of it all within the NHL and the fans are simply too apathetic to realize that fact . Crosby is coming off three concussions in the last eighteen months and the Penguins offer him a contract of this magnitude ?

    You now have 10 players in the NHL with either double or triple digit contracts .

    Take into account the Coyotes’ financial mess (debts bordering $80 million) and no real interested party seriously wanting to buy the team . And now you have Bettman stating that he hopes he can work out a peacful accord with the union (NHLPA) and a new collective bargaining agreement . What a joke !

  3. Actually, CR, I’d compare this to the Broncos signing Manning.

    Neither Pittsburgh nor Denver really know what they’re getting but they sure did pay a lot of money for ‘em.

  4. Antione Bergene says:

    Although concussions usually are caused by a blow to the head, they can also occur when the head and upper body are violently shaken. These injuries can cause a loss of consciousness, but most concussions do not. Because of this, some people have concussions and don’t realize it. `

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    <.http://www.foodsupplementcenter.com/chlorophyll-supplement/

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