Sidney Crosby admits that the current playoffs may be his last

Published April 29, 2022 at 9:25

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby acknowledges that the 2021-22 Stanley Cup Playoffs could be the last opportunity for his club's longtime core to aim for a championship.

The captain's teammates, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, will become unrestricted free agents this summer if they don't come to terms with the Penguins by then, and could leave the organization that drafted them.

"As much as you don't want to think about it, it's something you understand is a possibility. I think you just try to enjoy it as much as you can, and try to absorb it all because you know it's something that's not going to last forever, whether it's this year or a little bit later."

"Nothing lasts forever, so I think we just have to try to enjoy it and be grateful for the opportunity we have to do it again." - Sidney Crosby

Crosby (34), Malkin (35) and Letang (35) have been teammates for the past 16 seasons, making the playoffs each year and winning the Stanley Cup in 2009, 2016 and 2017. The only campaign in which Crosby failed to make the playoffs was his rookie year in 2005-06, before Malkin and Letang made their NHL debuts.

Although they are well into their 30s, the trio is still the driving force behind the Penguins:

Statistics 2021-22

Player PJ PTS Min/game
Crosby 68 84 20:01
Malkin 40 40 18:25
Letang 77 67 25:48

Malkin currently makes an average annual salary of $9.5 million, while Letang makes $7.25 million per season. Both top players could command big contracts on the free-agent market this summer, but the Penguins could try to keep its star pair. Pittsburgh has more than $29 million in projected cap space this offseason, according to Capfriendly, with only 13 players signed.

Crosby, meanwhile, is signed through the end of the 2024-25 season at an annual cap hit of $8.7 million.

The Penguins currently sit third in the Metropolitan Division with 101 points and one game to play. The Washington Capitals are chasing their rivals with 100 points and one game in hand.

April 29   |   340 answers
Sidney Crosby admits that the current playoffs may be his last

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