Sidney Crosby Could Lose $6.21 Million by No Fault of His Own

His place as one of the greatest players in NHL history won’t help Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby’s pockets in the coming months.

All NHL players are expected to take pay cuts in the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season, whenever it begins. That follows the wacky 2019-20 season which ended in September after a COVID-related hiatus.

Crosby isn’t alone in taking the pay cut, but he is in danger of losing over $6 million by no fault of his own.

Sidney Crosby is an NHL legend

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Still only 33 years old, Sidney Crosby is going strong and continuing a career that will soon land him in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Since debuting in 2005, Crosby has 1,263 points — 462 goals and 801 assists — to his name across 984 games. Crosby has made eight All-Star Games, won the Hart Trophy twice, and left an incredible legacy on the sport.

Crosby also has scored 189 career postseason points, with 68 coming on goals and the other 121 coming on assists. The Pittsburgh Penguins have won the Stanley Cup Finals three times in Crosby’s 15 seasons.

Crosby has made a lot of money in his career

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Sidney Crosby can never say that he didn’t make a ton of money in the NHL.

According to Spotrac, Crosby earned over $128 million through the end of the 2019-20 season. Crosby is tentatively scheduled to earn $9.6 million this coming season, although many factors will lower his total earnings.

Officially, Crosby will have earned over $165 million if he completes the 12-year, $104.4 million contract he signed in June 2012. Crosby has six seasons remaining on that deal.

The Pittsburgh Penguins paid Crosby at least $10 million in six straight seasons along the way.

Sidney Crosby is about to lose over $6 million

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Sidney Crosby has earned a lot of money in the NHL, but that is on pace to change this year.

As noted earlier, Crosby is scheduled to earn $9.6 million for the 2020-21 season. That isn’t his full takeaway, of course, because of taxes, agent fees, and so forth.

That is where the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on sports really hurts Crosby’s bank accounts. Pittsburghhockeynow.com looked at how a recent NHL proposal would deliver a significant blow to Crosby and all hockey players. 

Crosby will already lose 20% of his salary because of an already-agreed escrow deal, and that would drop his 2020 salary to roughly $7.7 million. The proposal asks players to defer 13% of their salary, which reduces his salary to $6.9 million. 

PGH Hockey Now estimated Crosby would give 10% of his salary to agent Pat Brinson. If so, his $6.9 million would drop to just over $6 million. 

Then the taxes hit. Crosby is in the highest 37% tax bracket, and PGH Hockey Now estimated Crosby would pay about $2.1 million in taxes. 

If Crosby pays the $2.1 million in federal taxes, he is down to $3.91 million. Crosby’s taxes in Pittsburgh (3%) and Pennsylvania (3.07%) drop him to $3.36 million in total money. 

In other words, the recent NHL proposal could set off a chain of events that would cost Crosby over $6.21 million in lost wages. Nothing is official yet, but Crosby may want to start tightening his belt if things go a certain way.

All contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.