The price of stardom (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday July 10, 2007 1:13PM; Updated: Tuesday July 10, 2007 4:52PM
Of course, that's only one way to look at this story. The other should have Pens fans questioning Crosby's commitment to capturing a Cup.
Heading into the negotiations, the noise out of the Crosby camp centered around his concern that the Pens had the ability and willingness to build a winner. Given what we've seen of him, what we've heard from him in the past, this selfless approach was easy to believe. But at this point, any thought that he'd take a hometown discount to give Shero enough room to build that winner has been exposed as PR spin. Look, if Crosby's dream was to set himself up with unimaginable wealth by the time he was 19, well, mission accomplished. But if he really wanted to be part of a winner, this deal was the wrong way to go about it.
Crosby can argue that he could have asked for the max and didn't, and he'd be right there. But at the same time, he didn't exactly leave Shero with a lot of wiggle room when it comes time to negotiate the eventual long-term deals for Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin, let alone acquire the complementary pieces that are critical to any Stanley Cup puzzle.
His pair of peach-faced buddies is going to deserve significant deals as well, and he's just set a very high bar that suggests the Pens will soon be allotting a significant portion of their cap space to three forwards.
Has Crosby seen the Tampa Bay Lightning lately?
And remember this: The salary cap that's set just over $50 million this year -- maybe it'll stay at $50 million next year. Maybe it'll be $52, but it could just as easily slip the other way, down to $48, even $45. The total hockey revenues that are used to determine the cap figure are being buoyed right now by the might of the Canadian dollar, and there's simply no guarantee that bullish run will continue. And that could make his cap hit an even more onerous burden.
There's no player in the league who can stake a claim to the maximum salary like Sid. Honestly, even at $9 million a year, he's one of the best bargains. With his vast marketing potential only starting to be tapped it was clear that, one way or another, Sid was always going to get his money.
But after seeing this deal, you have to wonder now if he'll ever get his ring.