PITTSBURGH (CP) - Sidney Crosby has agreed to a five-year contract extension worth US$43.5 million that will keep him with the Pittsburgh Penguins through 2012-13.
The star centre, who turns 20 on Aug. 7, became the NHL's youngest MVP since Wayne Gretzky when he was awarded the Hart Trophy last month after winning the scoring title with 120 points. He also won the Pearson Award as most outstanding player in a poll of NHL Players' Association members.
The extension averages out to $9 million a season, but Crosby and agent Pat Brisson are believed to have settled for less than the maximum they could have demanded from the Penguins.
"I really enjoy playing and living in Pittsburgh and I want to be here for a long time," said Crosby. "Individual honours and scoring championships are great, but my No. 1 goal is to win the Stanley Cup.
"I'd love to be a part of bringing the Cup back here to Pittsburgh."
The deal, though lucrative, was expected to give the Penguins some flexibility in signing other young stars Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal in the coming seasons.
Under the NHL's collective bargaining agreement, Crosby's deal will count $8.7 million a year toward the team's salary cap.
The native of Cole Harbour, N.S., was already under contract for next season for a base salary of $850,000 to complete his initial three-year, entry-level deal.
"Sidney has proven himself to be a dynamic player and team leader at a very young age, and it is exciting news for our franchise and our fans to have him under contract for the next six seasons," GM Ray Shero said in a release on Tuesday. "When you've got a guy who leads the league in scoring and wins the MVP award at the age of 19, you know you have someone very special."