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HNIC Hot Stove: Olympic talks resume this week

Sidney CrosbySidney Crosby's contract could cost upwards of $300,000 to insure for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. (Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)

By Allan Muir

Interesting reveal from Glenn Healy on Hockey Night in Canada's Hot Stove segment tonight regarding this week's Olympic talks.

All parties are scheduled to meet on Friday with hopes of finalizing the deal that would see NHL players take part in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Not surprisingly, assumption of insurance costs will be one of the main topics. As Healy noted, a few recent contracts highlight the significance of this issue.

Insuring Sidney Crosby, Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf alone will run something like $800,000. Look at the stars expected to make up the rosters for the tournament and you can see how quickly the total insurance costs will run into the tens of millions...and why the NHL wants no part in footing that bill.

If that number seems completely insane (and it does, right?), Elliotte Friedman offered up the math via Twitter:

https://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIC/status/320707902706946048

But what he really meant was

https://twitter.com/FriedgeHNIC/status/320708947650699264

So Crosby, who has about $100 million left on his deal, would be about $300,000 to insure. Getzlaf and Perry's new deals would require about $500K between them. Factor in another 20 players just for Team Canada's roster and it adds up quick, doesn't it?

What isn't clear is whether that figure covers just the Olympic tournament or if it also takes care of the summer camp leading into the games. If not, well, the number just gets bigger.

The NHL and NHLPA are looking for the IOC to assume the entirety of that cost. Seems reasonable given they bear the consequences of losing a player to injury at the event.

Will the IOC play along? Considering the advertising dollars at risk if the pros aren't in Sochi, it seems like a bitter pill they will have to swallow.

Another discussion point is transportation and security. Healy says Hockey Canada is expected to have 700 family members on hand. The hotel is a 35-minute walk away from the rink, so ensuring they have convenient and safe access shouldn't be a stumbling block, but it remains on the table. That may end up being a cost Hockey Canada has to bear.

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