If Sidney Crosby wants to play overseas during the lockout, it’s going to take a lot of cash.
According to agent Pat Brisson (who appeared on Sportsnet’s Fan590 Wednesday afternoon), the amount of money to insure Crosby’s contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins could be staggering — up to $400,000 per month.
Oh, and Brisson says that’s only to cover part of the deal.
Crosby inked a 12-year, $104.4 million extension with the Penguins at the end of June, the largest payout in franchise history. The deal was huge, but became even larger in scope given Crosby’s concussion history and the fact he’s missed 101 games over the last two seasons.
Of course, discussions about insuring Crosby’s contract are nothing new.
Back in early June, CBC’s Elliotte Friedman wrote a piece about how “highly unlikely” it was that any deal would be insured against concussions, and the ramifications and risk involved:
Talking to five NHL executives, I asked each one the same question: “If you said to your owner, ‘I’ve completed a 10-year, $90-million deal with Sidney Crosby, but we can’t insure it,’ what would he say?”
All of them thought about it for a couple of seconds and then said some variation of, “He’d do it.” Although, the assistant added: “I’d like to see you ask an owner this question.” I’m working on it.
“He’s [Crosby],” said one GM. “You know, it’s a risk, but it’s a risk you take. I’m sure his injuries are a sensitive subject, but the Penguins have the medical reports. They know him better than anyone else.”
Noted a second GM: “If you don’t do it, someone else is going to.”
Added a third GM: “If you sign him to this deal and he gets hurt in two years, you’re going to look stupid. But if you don’t, he plays the next 10 years like he can and goes down as one of the best ever, you’re going to look even more stupid.”
— Would Crosby be willing to cover part of his insurance costs?
— If not, would any European team be willing to buck up? Shelling out such an astronomical amount in insurance fees seems crazy but, at the same time, it’s Sidney Crosby.
Opportunities to get him wearing your team’s sweater are few and far between, and there’s no telling what his presence would do for public exposure and brand recognition (and other fancy marketing jargon, like impact awareness.)
— What happens if the lockout drags on for months and no team is willing to bite the financial bullet? The AHL isn’t an option and the rumored barnstrom/caravan leagues are probably way too risky.