Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Playing Overseas No Sure Option for Crosby

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Playing Overseas No Sure Option for Crosby

Article excerpt

Sidney Crosby feels the same way about the NHL's labor dispute as just about every one of his locked-out colleagues.

He'd like it to end.

Right now.

Maybe sooner.

There's little reason to believe a settlement is near given the major financial issues that separate the league and members of its players association.

Although the groups are scheduled to resume negotiations Wednesday and Thursday, those money matters are not believed to be on the agenda.

Crosby's desire to see the lockout conclude isn't the only thing he has in common with a lot of co-workers, because he is at least considering the idea of playing in Europe until labor peace returns to the NHL.

More than a hundred NHL players already have signed overseas and dozens, if not hundreds, of others are looking into the possibility.

Not everyone who wants a job in Europe will get one, however. Many will be turned away simply because clubs are looking for the most prominent players they can get, to have maximum impact at the box office.

For Crosby, though, it could be more challenging than many might expect because of the cost of insurance, an expense European teams have been picking up for most of the NHL players they've added.

Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, told a Canadian radio station recently that insuring a significant amount (though not all) of Crosby's future earnings -- he is scheduled to be paid $7.5 million in 2012-13 before a 12-year, $104.4 million deal kicks in -- could cost between $200,000 and $400,000 per month.

Crosby said Monday he could not confirm the accuracy of that estimate because he has left such matters to Brisson, who was not available for an interview.

It seems logical, however, that the combination of Crosby's future NHL earnings and the severe concussion he sustained less than two years ago would drive the cost of insuring him to a level many European teams can't, or won't, be willing to absorb.

"That [projected cost] is pretty steep," Crosby said. "That's not something that's necessarily easy for a team, to pay that."

Crosby was one of eight Penguins to take part in an informal workout Monday at Southpointe.

They were joined by a number of local players, including several from Pitt. …

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