The NHL, Penguins’ Ownership, and Pittsburgh fans have all been nervously holding their breath, hoping the face of their respective league or team did not end up signing a deal in another country. For the moment, they can feel confident that Sidney Crosby will continue his small group workouts at Southpointe in Pittsburgh, remaining healthy and in shape for the day he’ll be able to step back onto the ice with his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates.
Due to the enormity of monthly insurance costs said to be in the neighborhood of $400,000, the chance that Crosby decides to sign a contract with a European team seems incredibly slim. For him to actually incur the fees and play there, I believe the lockout would have to be moving in the direction of the cancellation of an entire season.
Crosby would not take the risk of sacrificing his health and whatever money he’d make for, let’s say, a month of hockey in a neighboring league, if the season has a remote chance of happening before January 2013. It would be a terrible business decision, and I’m sure his agent Pat Brisson has explained as much.
Luckily, the NHL finally proposed a semi-realistic contract to the NHLPA, and although this won’t be a fix-all from the get-go, it will finally give the two sides some direction along with a reasonable middle-ground for negotiations. The devil’s in the details, as always, but true progress should be made over the next two weeks.