Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Sidney Crosby's professional hockey career could begin in Europe.

Agent Pat Brisson tells the New York Times he has had preliminary discussions with teams in Sweden, Switzerland and Russia about Crosby turning pro should the NHL lockout continue into next season.
"I'm not saying he's going to go to Europe for sure, but it's clearly an option," Brisson tells the Times. "We'll have to make some decisions in the early part of June."
"(The European teams) basically want to know what we're looking for. Within a month and a half, we'll be in a better position to talk and bring things to fruition.  "His priority is the NHL. He's hoping it is going to get resolved."
Brisson says even if the NHL and the NHLPA work out a new collective bargaining agreement, caps on entry-level salaries could still make it more profitable for Crosby to play outside of North America.  Under the last collective bargaining agreement, rookies in the NHL were limited to a base salary of $1.25-million a season. However, the deal does not take into effect various incentive clauses, which have helped to drive rookie salaries higher. Talks on a new deal seem to indicate those loopholes could be closed as well.
Crosby, acknowledged to be the top NHL prospect, is currently leading Rimouski through the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs. If the NHL does not hold an entry level draft, Rimouski are expected to stake their claim on Crosby for at least the next two seasons.  Brisson says he's also talked with teams in the American Hockey League and the World Hockey Association has been in contact as well, but he doesn't see the latter as a viable option.  Brisson adds Crosby would also consider an invitation to play for Canada at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.
-Referenced from

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