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Sidney Crosby Contract Extension: How Much Risk Is Involved?

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While Pittsburgh Penguins fans should be thrilled that the team has locked up star center Sidney Crosby for the next 12 years, there is always an element of risk involved. For Crosby, the risk has to do with his recent injury history.

In the last 18 months, Crosby has played in only 28 games after suffering his second concussion in five days on January 5, 2011. Even after coming back last November, he suffered a setback in December and missed the next three months.

What should also concern Penguins fans is the fact that the team will probably be on the hook for most if not all of Crosby's contract, according to James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail. Despite that, he thinks that its not all bad news for the Penguins should Crosby get injured again.

The Penguins are likely on the hook for the full value of Crosby's contract even if he suffers another head injury and can no longer play, which could hurt the franchise's bottom line for years. The good news in that scenario is his contract could still be placed on injured reserve to free up salary-cap space for a replacement.

The other risk that the Penguins have with this deal is that the deal will likely not be insurable after seven years.

For more on the Penguins, check out PensBurgh.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.