In the span of a week, Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero waved goodbye to Jordan Staal and essentially made Sidney Crosby a “Penguin forever” (to use Crosby’s agent Pat Brisson’s words). Shero recently completed a conference call to discuss Crosby’s pending lifetime contract, and to little surprise, he had some very positive things to say to media members such as Josh Yohe.
“We believe Sidney’s best days are ahead of him,” Shero said.
Shero didn’t discuss any specifics about the contract’s insurance policies, however, which is certainly relevant considering Crosby’s concussion history. Seth Rorabaugh has a full transcript of what Shero and Brisson said, including these optimistic details about Sid’s health.
“He’s been training in Los Angeles,” Brisson said. “He’s feeling great. He’s been training hard and feeling really well compared to last summer. It’s been night and day. It’s been very encouraging.”
One remarkable thing about Crosby’s new deal is that it will carry an identical cap hit ($8.7 million) as his current deal. While that’s still a ton of cash – even with a $70.2 million ceiling – both Shero and Brisson praised Crosby for being conscious of the team’s ability to build around him when considering is contract.
“As I’ve said, he’s never been reluctant to help the team,” Shero said. “I appreciate that and ownership appreciates that. It’s very beneficial and it says a lot about Crosby.”
Shero didn’t really elaborate on how much having Crosby signed long-term and Evgeni Malkin locked up for at least two more years could help the team chase free agents. All he said was “we’re in a different spot than we were a week ago,” but there should be little doubt that potential additions such as Zach Parise will enjoy the thought of playing with one of the two superstars.
Mario Lemieux said it’s “a great day for hockey,” yet it’s an especially great one for the Pittsburgh Penguins.