Sid "The Kid" Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins agreed to a contract extension that will keep "The Kid" with the Penguins until he is Sid "The Mid" Crosby. In 2025, when Crosby's new 12 year extension runs out, so to should Crosby's current nickname. Crosby will be 37, and should then become Sid "The Mid," short for middle aged. The Penguins will continue to pay Crosby $8.7 Million per season under the new deal.
Crosby's new deal continues a trend of till-death-do-us-part length NHL contracts. While it seems smart to lock up star players long-term, many of the contracts could be costing the teams down the road.
The New Jersey Devils started the trend by inking Ilya Kovalchuk, then 28, to a 15 year deal. Kovalchuk shows signs of aging only 3 years into his deal. You could definitely say Kovalchuk sold his soul to the Devils.
Chris Pronger notched a 7 year deal with the Flyers, when he was already an "experienced" 37 year old. Pronger has suffered several injuries since the deal and has yet to play a full season.
Rick DiPietro could be the worst of mega contract variety. In 2007 The Islanders signed the then 25 year old goalie to a 15 year deal. After two decent seasons, DiPietro has become an injury waiting to happen. It would take longer to list his injures than it would to tell you about his shutouts over the last 3 seasons.
Every hockey team wants to keep their superstars, and no fan base likes to see franchise players leave a team for free agency. Dealing with the salary cap adds another barrier to keeping these superstars for franchises trying to field complete teams. Signing superstars to these mega deals however seems to have failed. Scott Gomez and Roberto Loungo are additonal evidence that the deals are no good in such a violent sport. Injuries are bound to happen, guys are going to get old. Crosby's new deal could be a great way to make sure the best player in the NHL stays in Pittsburgh, but if it fails, it will setback the franchise for years.
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