Crosby in contract talks with Swiss Club
July 6, 2005 Updated at 4:57 PM EDT
Hockey phenom Sidney Crosby is in contract talks with Swiss club
With the NHL set to unveil a new collective bargaining agreement with
tough new limits on entry-level contracts, a source said Wednesday
that Crosby has been offered a three-year deal that could be worth as
much as $10-million (U.S.) including a multimillion-dollar signing
bonus by the Swiss club.
Crosby's agent Pat Brisson of IMG admitted negotiations were taking
place. But he would not confirm any financial details.
"I can't deny that we've been in serious talks with Lugano," Brisson
said Wednesday from Los Angeles. "It's a serious offer. We're keeping
in mind that Sidney's goal is to play in the National Hockey League
but we have to listen.
"Not knowing what the entry-level restrictions will be in the
upcoming CBA, we need to cover our bases," Brisson added.
The next collective bargaining agreement is believed to cap entry-
level salaries to a maximum of $850,000 a season over three years,
the same amount it was 10 years ago. Hard-to-reach bonuses could be
worth as much as $3-million but they won't be gimmes like the
Should Crosby sign the deal before even being drafted by an NHL team,
Brisson said there would be some kind of out clause that would allow
him to return to North America if he chose to.
"We would want some sort of mechanism which would allow him to come
back if he wanted, but it could come at a price" Brisson said.
Other clubs in Europe, notably in Russia, were also believed to have
interest but Lugano is the only team in talks with Brisson and Crosby
at this point.
Brisson would not comment asked when and if Crosby would sign with
the Swiss club.
Goalie David Aebischer of the Colorado Avalanche, forwards Jason
Blake of the New York Islanders, Martin Gelinas of the Calgary
Flames, Alex Tanguay of the Avalanche and defenceman Kimmo Timonen of
the Nashville Predators all played for Lugano last season during the
Either way, the money continues to pour in for the talented
youngster. Gatorade became the second major company this year to
hitch its wagon to the rising star by signing the native of Cole
Harbour, N.S., to a three-year endorsement deal that was announced by
the company Tuesday.
Crosby, 17, signed with Reebok in March in what was reported to be a
$2.5-million US, five-year endorsement deal for equipment and apparel.
While the Gatorade deal is not believed to be as lucrative per year
as the Reebok contract, it is still reportedly the richest deal a
hockey player has signed with the sports drink company.
Crosby, a Canadian Hockey League MVP the past two seasons while
playing for the Rimouski Oceanic, is considered far and away the No.
1 prospect for the 2005 NHL draft. The draft will likely be held in