PITTSBURGH - Sidney Crosby's contract is settled. That's good news for him, for the Pittsburgh Penguins and for the team's fans.
Maybe it's not so good for Evgeni Malkin.
Crosby and Malkin have made about the same amount to this point in their Penguins careers.
Will Malkin continue to be happy with that arrangement? The Penguins aren't going to pay anyone more than Crosby, so Crosby's contract essentially sets the price for Malkin.
Crosby is locked in at an average of $8.7 per million. By the time the contract expires, he'll be almost as old as Steve Sullivan.
Under the NHL salary cap, one player can account for 20 percent of the total cap amount. That means an individual player can make about $14 million per season if a team is willing to pay that much.
Can anyone blame Malkin if he wants a shot at that kind of payday? Where is it written that Crosby's negotiations set his price as well?
There are teams where Malkin could be the focal point. Most teams don't have a world-class player and would love to get a talent like Malkin.
If Malkin is willing to stay even with Crosby and sign a new deal for similar terms, great.
But he's not obligated to do that.
Jordan Staal now plays for the Carolina Hurricanes, so you know that what means.
We hate him now.
Staal rejected the Penguins for a situation he thinks will be better. That usually makes a player a marked man among Pittsburgh sports fans.
It usually goes like this: You leave us? Aw, we never liked you anyway.
People don't take rejection well, even though player movement is a part of sports.
It's OK to dislike Staal as an opposing player. He'll be trying to beat the Penguins now, and he's a great competitor.
But don't fault him for forcing a move. He spent six years as a junior partner in the Crosby-Malkin show. Doing the same thing for another decade didn't appeal to him.
He handled things professionally, and the Penguins did, too.
Heat is on
You have to be a major golf fan to spend a miserably hot and humid afternoon following the Senior Players Championship at Fox Chapel Golf Club.
If the oppressive weather wasn't taxing enough, consider the excitement brought on by watching old men putt.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org