He's all yours, Pittsburgh

Super-sophomore Sidney Crosby (above) can focus on breaking scoring records and getting home ice for the first round of the playoffs now that the Pittsburgh Penguins have reached a deal to stay in Pennsylvania for at least 30 years:

The Pittsburgh Penguins reached a financing deal for a new arena that will keep the NHL team in the city where it has played since 1967.

Gov. Ed Rendell announced the agreement Tuesday at the Pennsylvania Gaming Congress. He said money from the state’s new slot machine parlors would help fund the arena.

According to multiple media reports, the new arena would be completed by the start of the 2009-10 season. The Penguins would pay $3.8 million a year for construction and $400,000 annually for unspecified capital improvements, the newspaper reported, citing unidentified sources.

Apologies to Kansas City, Las Vegas, and Houston, who are now out of the running for the franchise, but Scott Burnside nominates the Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers, and Nashville Predators as deserving candidates for new locales. Burnside doesn’t suggest that the west-leading Predators move to Chicago to replace Bill Wirtz’s infuriating Blackhawks, but I don’t think that too many fans in the Windy City would mind.