Could insurance issues hinder Crosby contract negotiations?

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Of the many variables in the Sidney Crosby contract negotiations with the Pittsburgh Penguins, one of the big ones could be insurance. Specifically, what if the contract can’t be insured due to his concussion history?

The CBC’s Elliott Friedman investigated the potential snag:

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.”

Whether Pittsburgh ownership insists Crosby accepts a lower salary in return for the risk is another question.

Regardless, it’s hard to imagine money getting in the way of a deal between Crosby and the Penguins. There’s no indication he’s unhappy in Pittsburgh, and he’s already pretty rich.

Related: Would you still sign Sidney Crosby if he couldn’t be insured?