When Mike Colligan at the Hockey Writers puts a piece out, you best be readin. His latest, regarding Sidney Crosby and insurance issues during the NHL lockout is no different:
"All these players that are going to Europe right now, they’re covering themselves in the event that there’s a short-term injury… So it could vary anywhere between $200,000 to $400,000 a month to cover a certain portion." [said Pat Brisson, Crosby's agent]
In other words, if a team wanted to insure Crosby against serious injury for 50 KHL games, the risk of serious injury — and the price of insuring that risk — would be much higher than if they only wanted to insure him for 10 or 20 games.
Crosby himself would also be dealing with a dynamic that probably can’t be quantified in dollars: the risk of having his career permanantly cut short because he wanted to play for a few months in a substandard league (the KHL is not exactly known for its gentlemanly play).
In the end, it will come down to how badly Crosby wants to get back on the ice in the prime of his career, and how much teams are willing to spend for the opportunity to step into the Pittsburgh Penguins shoes for a few weeks or months.
Until the entire NHL season is in jeopardy or cancelled, it’s unlikely we’ll see Crosby on the ice anywhere in Europe.
Colligan went on to say, given Crosby's prestige and status, it would be expected the team that wants to sign him during the NHL lockout would be on the hook for insurance issues (unlike the other NHL players, who are paying their own). Given that no other team or league really has their marketing and merchandising established enough to make a $200,000 - $400,000 a month investment (minus salary) makes it's unlikely anyone would see the sense in trying to bring Crosby in.
So just add it to the pile of irony about the NHL's labor stoppage- the game's brighest star, who's been out most of the past 20 months with injury, will be missing playing time in the prime of his career due to the disagreement between the player's union and ownership. It's not fun, and it's only Day 9.