Crosby offered $7.5M by WHA
By BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun
The new World Hockey Association is hoping the colour of money will woo teenage phenom Sidney Crosby to Hamilton this season, the Sun has learned.
A well-placed NHL source told the Sun last night that Hamilton WHA franchise owner Mario Frankovich has offered the 17-year-old Crosby a firm three-year, $7.5-million (all terms US) contract to leave the QMJHL's Rimouski Oceanic.
Not only would Crosby, who will be the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NHL entry draft in Ottawa next June, make $2.5 million per season, sources also confirmed he'll receive a guarantee of $2 million even if the fledgling league doesn't get off the ground this season.
Neither Crosby or his agent, Pat Brisson, could be reached for comment last night, but sources say the youngster is giving the idea serious thought before reporting to Rimouski's camp later this month.
Trying to bring credibility to the league and get a better lease deal at the Copps Coliseum from the city of Hamilton, sources say Frankovich is "quite serious" about this pitch and has held several discussions with Brisson.
135 POINTS AS ROOKIE
The 5-foot-10 Crosby had 54 goals and 81 assists for 135 points in 59 games with the Oceanic last season. A brilliant talent, he'd sell tickets for the WHA, but indications are he'll remain in Rimouski because of the uncertainty surrounding the new league.