Originally written on Juiced Sports Blog  |  Last updated 11/16/14

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 15: Matt Cooke #24 of the Pittsburgh Penguins congratulates Sidney Crosby #87 on his power play goal at 3:20 of the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Mellon Arena on December 15, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)


The Pittsburgh Penguins are nuts. Crazy. Out of their freaking minds.

Sidney Crosby is a sensational player. When healthy he’s one of the NHL’s biggest stars. He became one of the league’s cornerstones after a brutal lockout wiped out the entire 2004-05 season (310 days in total).

He wasn’t just an instant sensation, he was a revelation. His arrival in Pittsburgh changed the fate of the struggling Penguins who won his services via the 2005 NHL Draft Lottery. Nicknamed the ‘Next One’ he was going to be to hockey what LeBron James has been to hoops.

Crosby led the Pens to a Stanley Cup appearance in 2008 and in 2009 they avenged themselves by knocking out Detroit in a spirited 7 game rematch from the season before.

The 5′11 sleek scoring Black and Gold superhero has exhibited all the goods: he’s scored at least 32 goals in 5 of his 7 seasons in the league, including a breakout 2009-10 campaign where he recorded 51 goals. He has 223 career goals, 386 assists, and has accounted for 609 points. He’s also just 24 years old.

That’s the argument against the crazy.

Here’s the stance for the madness.

Crosby is coming off a season in which he played just 22 games, scored just 8 goals and that was due to lingering concussion symptoms that he suffered through the year before, a season in which he played just half of the Pens’ 82 games.

There were points where people wondered if he would ever get back on the ice again – and now, you the Pittsburgh Penguins – are locking him up for the next decade.

After trading away one star in Jordan Staal, you’re putting the keys to your franchises’ success in the hands of a very-talented, albeit somewhat fragile concussion riddled star.

You’re not signing him to a 3 year deal or a 5 year deal.  O no, you’re signing Crosby to either a 9 or 10 year pact and this is not the NFL where contracts are written in pencil not ink. This is the NHL where guys like Rick DePietro get locked up for 15 seasons just because it keeps his salary lower.

The Penguins are tying their hopes to Crosby with this deal. If he’s healthy and continues to exhibit the arsenal of talents that got him here in the first place then fine, it’s a great deal. But like Albert Pujols’ eye sore of a contract, it’s the later years that could sink the Pens into a dark hole.

Will the contract be insured against Crosby and his concussion problems? If it is, then it’s a good deal. If the contract is written in good faith then it’s ridiculously stupid.

On Sunday Pittsburgh will make it official and reveal all the details.  On the surface this looks like a perplexing money grab for a guy whose health is already in question in a sport as physical as ever.

Is Pittsburgh getting the future Hall of Famer that Crosby is on track to be or is it resigning a former star to a deadweight contract set to cripple the franchise he helped revive?

Let the games begin!

Photo: Getty

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