Penguins lock up Crosby until 2013

SUN WIRE SERVICES

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins found a mutually satisfying number in negotiating a five-year contract extension.

They settled on $43.5 US million because the annual average is $8.7 million, which corresponds to the No. 87 sweater the superstar centre wears.

"That seems like a pretty good number," a satisfied Crosby said from his parents' Cole Harbour, N.S., home during a conference call yesterday. "It's kind of unique."

General manager Ray Shero was tickled pink that he could get the sport's biggest attraction under wraps till 2013 without paying the maximum. Crosby generously allowed him some wiggle room so he might have a buck or two left when it comes time to re-sign last season's rookies Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal.

Next winter, Crosby will complete the three-year, entry-level contract that is paying him $850,000. The extension then kicks in, and it is richly deserved given what he has accomplished in only two years in the NHL.

In piling up 120 points last season, the smooth-skating centre became the youngest scoring champion in league history. He's the youngest MVP since Wayne Gretzky in 1980, and he also was voted most outstanding player in a poll of NHL Players' Association members. The bonuses he cashed in on multiplied his base take by as much as four times.

Crosby, who turns 20 on Aug. 7, is determined to not allow his newfound wealth to change his approach to life.

"I don't think it's going to change a whole lot," he said yesterday. "Obviously, it's a lot of money but, at the same time, my attitude and how I approach things, I don't think that's going to change."

SHANAHAN RESIGNS

Brendan Shanahan stuck to his word and agreed to a one-year deal with the New York Rangers.

The 38-year-old left winger had 29 goals and 62 points with the Rangers last season, his first with New York. Following the Rangers' second-round playoff elimination, Shanahan said he wanted to continue his career and had no interest in playing anywhere but New York.

"There was never any doubt what Brendan's intentions were or on (general manager) Glen Sather's part that he wanted Brendan back," Shanahan's agent, Rick Curran said. "We never called anyone, never had any intention of doing anything other than putting all our efforts into New York."

Shanahan will receive $2.5 million in base salary next season.

BRIEFLY

The New Jersey Devils signed free-agent defenceman Vitaly Vishnevski to a $5.4-million, three-year contract ... The Washington Capitals signed free-agent forward Joe Motzko to a two-year contract.


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