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Penguins’ Crosby on Contract Extension: We’re Talking

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Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will be eligible to sign a contract extension as of Monday. He had a couple opportunities Friday to address that, and he offered only a morsel of information.

“There’s been a little bit of talk,” Crosby said during a Zoom session with reporters after he was one of the first six players named to represent Team Canada at the 4 Nations Face-Off in February.

“It’s something that I’ll keep between Kyle (Dubas, Penguins president of hockey operations and general manager) and I, but we’ve had some conversations. I’ll just kind of leave it at that.”

Dubas previously has said he will keep a lid on any talks or news surrounding Crosby’s potential extension.

Pressed about whether the extension will get done this offseason, Crosby smiled and said, “We’re talking. I’ll leave it at that.”

Crosby, who turns 37 next month, is entering the final year of his 12-year contract. That has an AAV of $8.7 million. Nothing has been revealed about any financial terms or number of years that either he or the team might be looking at.

He seemed to make a case for himself for still being a dominant force, as he led the Penguins with 94 points, including 42 goals, last season.

So we know this: The sides are talking. Crosby previously has not let contract situations drag on.

Stay tuned on that.

In the meantime, Crosby expressed a lot of anticipation for playing in the 4 Nations Face-Off, which features Canada, the United States, Sweden and Finland.

His good friend, summer workout partner and newly crowed Hart and Ted Lindsay award winner Nathan MacKinnon also was one of the six Canadian players named. MacKinnon has said the two of them are already making plans for Team Canada to prosper.

But not, Crosby said, to the point of drawing up plays.

“No white board,” Crosby said. “We were on a golf trip and he brought it up. He was just kind of picking my brain. Obviously, there’s a lot of excitement having the opportunity to represent Canada, best on best. It’s been a while since we had the opportunity to do that, and having the opportunity to play with him.

“I don’t know how the lines are going to shake out, but having the chance to play with him at the Worlds in 2015 was a lot of fun. It’s been a while since then.”

Two other teammates Crosby knows he will have are Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins. Marchand also works out in the summer with Crosby and MacKinnon, as all are from in or around Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

“It’s something that we’re definitely proud of,” Crosby said of the three Nova Scotians. “Happy to see Marshy and Nate there. Being able to skate with them in the summer and train together, just to see the way that they work and the way that they compete, I think the fact that we’re going to play together on the same team, definitely familiar (with each other) that’s a lot fun.

“But I know that we’ll be pushing each other because of that, so that’s a good thing, too. Not that we necessarily need that all the time, but it’s definitely intense when we get out there. We all want to see each other do well, but we’re obviously really competitive and want to bring out the best in one another – maybe sometimes the worst, actually. … It’s something that I’m sure will be talked about a lot this summer.”

If three of those four big-name forwards play on a line, it could be formidable.

“It’s something you can talk about, you can plan, you can prep for,” Crosby said of the tournament.” I think the anticipation in just guys preparing for the season, but also being motivating knowing in the back of their mind that this is something that they’ll have a chance to be a part of, I think that’s great for everybody.

“You look at the guys who were announced today. Some serious skill and some unbelievable groups of hockey players.”

The tournament, set for February in Montreal and Boston, also could serve as a dress rehearsal for the 2026 Milan Olympics. In fact, the 4 Nations is something of a product of the NHL players being excluded for more than a decade.

“It will be good preparation as far as looking at groups of players, line combinations, everything,” Crosby said. “The fact that they’re close together (timewise), I think that helps, with it being fresh in people’s minds to see this event, and then the Olympics. There’s a lot to be excited about.”