Sidney Crosby to sign 12-year, $104 million contract with Pittsburgh

April 11, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) skates with the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period in game one of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

This is what star players do when they believe in their team and their city:

Expect the Penguins to announce Sidney Crosby's contract extension on Sunday. Over $100 million dollars with an AAV of close to $9 mil per.

--- TSN's Darren Dreger on Twitter

Sidney Crosby

#87 / Center / Pittsburgh Penguins



Aug 07, 1987

That's pretty good money for a guy who's only played 63 games over the past two seasons due to concussion issues. Crosby isn't due to become an unrestricted free agent for another year, so July 1 is the earliest he can sign a contract extension.

Meanwhile here in Nashville, Ryan Suter (and Shea Weber) are taking the slow, quiet path towards UFA status, and the freedom to choose where they'll play. Over at Pensburgh, they see this move as the Penguins making a strong public statement to potential free agents they'll court in just a few days:

It says, point blank, if you come to Pittsburgh, Crosby will be here for the entirity of your stay. And so long as you have Sidney Crosby on your team, you know management will be attempting to field a competitive team with the realisitic goal of making a play to chase down the Stanley Cup year after year. This is serious business.

And, the same $8.7 million salary also a warning shot too. Yesterday Washington traded impending free agent Dennis Wideman to Calgary, who signed the defenseman to a 5 year, $5.25 million contract...Per season. Free agency always inflates value, so it's frightening to think of the staggering offers that better players like Suter and Parise are about to have tossed their way. The message here being: Pittsburgh's obviously setting the bar here, and players have to take a little less to fill out the team and better compete.

Hey, at least here in Nashville Pekka Rinne has bought in!

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