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Insiders Assess Penguins Contract Negotiations With Sidney Crosby

It appears that no major news is necessarily bad news when it comes to Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby’s contract extension once he becomes eligible next Monday.

“There’s no concern on either side about Crosby’s impending new contract,” Rob Rossi of The Athletic said Thursday. “It will happen, league and team sources said. It’s more a matter of when.”

Crosby has one season left on his current contract and plays for a club that has missed the playoffs for two straight years. He was the subject of much transfer rumor last season, as many believed Pittsburgh’s championship window had closed with 36-year-old midfielder Evgeni Malkin and defender Kris Letang on the roster.

Rossi notes that talks between agent Pat Brisson and Penguins president of hockey operations/general manager Kyle Dubas will “intensify” soon.

“With Dubas having to maneuver nimbly in the coming weeks to improve the team, both the Penguins and Crosby are content to wait longer than in the past to formalize a new deal,” Rossi explained. “Crosby, who has spent much of his offseason in Europe, wants to give Dubas time to improve the team. Crosby has publicly committed to seeing out his career with the Penguins, so neither he nor the team feels the need to rush his next contract.”

Also on Thursday, The Athletic’s Josh Yohe assured fans that Dubas “won’t be playing hardball with” Crosby this summer.

“Crosby could get more than the $8.7 million he has coveted as a salary for most of his career,” Yohe wrote. “That is his right if he asks for it. He has always overplayed his contract. But I also think the Penguins realize that Crosby is not going to make outrageous demands. There is no stress on either side in this situation, as far as I know.”

A legitimate argument could be made for Dubas and the team’s ownership trying to blow things up as quickly as possible to start the inevitable rebuild of Pittsburgh, but Crosby seemingly wants to end this era of Pittsburgh hockey on his own terms by to perform for the club after 2024. -25 campaign. While things could change, it appears the three-time Stanley Cup champion will ultimately get his wish.