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NHL Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins Give Sidney Crosby Huge Contract Extension

The Pittsburgh Penguins plan to reward Sidney Crosby with a huge contract extension that will see him remain in a Penguins sweater for the next dozen years.

The details will be officially signed on July 1, right in the middle of free agency frenzy, but reportedly the contract is worth $104.4 million total over an extension of 12 years. He’ll make $10 million a year for the first nine years of the deal, but after that is when there are some decisions to make. By the time he is nearing his 40s, he’ll need to decide if he wants to keep playing and make $3 or $4 million as the deal tapers off to the end. Of course, those decisions are very far down the road.

With this three-digit deal, Crosby joins a small club of only two other players on contracts at or exceeding $100 million. Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils inked a 15-year, $100 million deal two years ago, one that circumvented salary cap rules and means the Devils will need to forfeit their 2013 or 2014 first-round draft pick as a penalty. Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is on a 13-year, $124 million deal from 2008. However, the Ovechkin deal didn’t break any rules and Crosby’s probably won’t either.

Interestingly, if Crosby spends the next 12 years entirely with the Penguins, and remains healthy, by that time he’s in line to either reach or surpass a lot of the franchise records held by Mario Lemieux. He already has quite a full trophy cabinet, considering the Art Ross, Hart and Richard trophies alongside the Stanley Cup win from 2009.

Crosby is on the last year of a 2007 extension and has one year left on that structure, so he will earn $8.7 million next season. After that, the new deal and the new pay structure kicks in, giving him a noticeable raise.

This news comes alongside the announcement of a temporary salary cap ceiling of $70.2 million. The cap could go up or down depending on what happens with the new collective bargaining agreement–negotiations set to begin on that tomorrow in New York City–but with free agency impending, the league had to agree to something in the meantime.