When the Pittsburgh Penguins signed Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang to extensions this summer, they committed themselves to a “win-now” short-term competitive plan, focusing the energy and resources of their franchise into squeezing one last Stanley Cup victory out of their three franchise pillars. The face of the franchise, Sidney Crosby, has three years remaining on his current contract, and as things currently stand he’s not thinking beyond that point.
In an interview with Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek for their 32 Thoughts Podcast, Crosby was asked about his playing future and whether he’d like to play into his forties as Zdeno Chara has. Crosby responded that he wouldn’t, and added on that he’s “thinking about [the] three more years” remaining on his contract before considering the next step for his career. At 35 years old, Crosby isn’t “Sid the Kid” anymore, but he did score 84 points in 69 games last year and remains an elite player. But based on these comments, the Penguins will need to consider that Crosby may not be playing for the entirety of Malkin or Letang’s new extensions.
Now, for some other notes from across the NHL:
- Vancouver Canucks GM Patrik Allvin has been a busy man this summer, signing major contracts with J.T. Miller, Ilya Mikheyev, and Andrei Kuzmenko. And despite the fact that training camps are close, he may not be done. In a conversation with The Athletic’s Thomas Drance, Allvin stated that the team would still be looking to add to its current group of players, saying that there is enough “cap space, and roster spots, and contract slots” to be able to facilitate an addition. (subscription link) We’re certainly late into the offseason free agent market, but with the preseason waiver wire set to be active and a few free agents still remaining, it’s possible that the Canucks get a new face or two into the mix before they open their 2022-23 campaign.
- The St. Louis Blues have signed some major extensions recently, specifically with their two top young players: Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou. While the Blues are undoubtedly better off having signed those deals, they could come with a cost. As Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes, the byproduct of these extensions is that the team could find it difficult to match the sort of offer captain Ryan O’Reilly could receive on the open market. Since both O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko will be unrestricted free agents next summer, the Blues seem to have made retaining their two franchise pillars a more difficult task with their recent moves.