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Monday, July 2, 2012

Crosby’s New Contract – Lemieux and Burkle Gambling Fools?

On July 1st, Sidney Crosby signed his new contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, one that stretches over 12 years and that will pay him the enormous sum of 104.4 million dollars. There has been talk that Crosby could have gotten more and that he deserved more, but I entirely disagree considering his brain injury / concussion issue. The contract is not small since it makes him the highest-paid NHL player if you consider the first nine years of the contract, and it is only in the last three years that his pay-check drops drastically. In the first three years he will make 12 million per year, then the next two 10.9 million, then 10, 9.6, 9, 9, and then only 3 million the final three years. If a miracle occurs and he was to make it to the 10th year of his contract, he definitely would not play for 3 million and risk further brain injury. Crosby is fully aware that he will not play that long and in my opinion he has pulled the wool over Lemieux’s and Ron Burkle’s eyes—Burkle being co-owner with Lemieux in case you did not know. But, the contract itself is not the problem with this deal for Lemieux and Burkle (despite their having to free-up resources to make it happen), the real issue is that Crosby cannot be insured against a career-ending injury caused by concussion / brain injury because insurance policies won’t cover pre-existing conditions. That means that if Crosby goes out and gets nailed during his first shift of the new contract, and suffers a major concussion that sidelines him forever, Lemieux and Burkle will have to pay him the full 104.4 million! That is a huge gamble in my opinion and one that I would never consider after hearing Crosby speaking about his injuries throughout his lengthy recovery. I have had concussions and deal with ongoing symptoms and brain injury just does not go away—there is always a degree of permanent damage, small or large! By the way, excuse me if you read words in reverse order or words that don’t seem to fit in a sentence due to my typing the incorrect word. I proofread the articles a number of times and try to catch all of the problems before publishing.

Dear Mr. Lemieux, how much will you pay me to clean your golf balls, shine your shoes, polish your wine bottles, and have those Godfather movies ready when you want to watch them? Readers, to let you in on the joke, in an interview around the time that Lemieux’s statue was unveiled, March 7, 2012, he stated that his passions are golfing and fine wines, and that his favorite movie is The Godfather.

In continuing, last year Crosby presented himself as fearful and cautious regarding his concussion, and it lasted so damn long that people began to wonder if he would ever return at all. In fact, he sought out his own medical advice to be sure that the Penguins’ doctors weren’t just acting on behalf of the team. It was not a good situation and I stated in an article that Crosby should just get some more endorsements, retire as an NHL player, and do hockey schools or coaching (if he wanted to still be on the ice). Well, Crosby has decided that he will need a lot more money than he really needs and that he wants to risk further brain injury in the quest for one or more additional Stanley Cup rings. If I was younger and foolish I would probably do the same thing. Despite Crosby not being one of my favorite players in the game, I hope that he is able to escape further brain injury and that he can out-play all of the Russian stars in the league!   

TJ Stanley