According to multiple outlets, the Penguins and Sidney Crosby are on the verge of a new contract extension.
Per the deal is expected to be worth a total of $104.4 million over 12 years. That would equal his current salary cap hit of $8.7 million.
Crosby can not officially sign the deal until Sunday under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement. He is entering the final season of a five-year contract with a salary cap hit of $8.7 million. The new contract would not take effect until the start of the 2013-14 season.
In 22 games last season, he scored 37 points (eight goals, 29 assists).
EN Says: The timing of this news leaking out is not a coincidence. The Penguins want to attract some high-end free agents such as Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. With Crosby's salary cap number established as the team's own artificial "cap" for individual players, free agents know how much they can demand from the Penguins.
The Penguins are run by a politician, David Morehouse. Don't be surprised when they work the media like one.
Is there a risk in committing to Crosby long term given his recent injury history? Absolutely. But there are 29 other teams which would pay Crosby more if they had a chance. It's always going to be a good market for players of Crosby's caliber, even if there are some health risks attached.
For Crosby to maintain the same salary cap hit, it's clear he wants to aid the Penguins in terms of their salary cap hit. He wants to enable the team to re-sign its own stars and to puruse other high-end free agents. Under the rules of the current collective bargaining agreement, Crosby could be paid a maximum of $14 million.
All-in-all, Sunday will be a good day for the Penguins.
UPDATE: The Penguins have officially announced the agreement two days before they can sign it.
(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)