In a wild turn of events, it seems like Pittsburgh Penguins Star Evgeni Malkin will be hitting the free agency market for the first time in his career. Malkin, 35, has spent his entire career with the Penguins, being drafted second overall in the 2004 NHL Draft. Malkin has won 3 Stanley Cups in his career with the Penguins. Malkin only played half of this season due to injury, but put up an impressive 42 points in 41 games in the regular season, and he also had 6 points in 7 games in the playoffs.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Malkin is 100% leaving the Penguins, but he is going to the market to see what offers he can get. Putting up over a point per game this season, many teams will be interested in talking to him about a potential deal. Does he take a pay cut and go to a cup contender? Does he cash in big? Does he return to Pittsburgh to keep the trio of him, Crosby, and Letang together? Letang just signed a 6 year extension with the Penguins, but reports say that the Penguins were reluctant to give Malkin more than 3 years.
Hextall said this on the Malkin situation just a couple days ago:
“We stated right from the start we’d like to bring Geno back. I strongly believe he wants to come back, so we’ll continue to work at it and hopefully come to an agreement.”Hextall, pittsburgh penguins gm
Potential landing destinations have included the New York Rangers, The Washington Capitals, and the Boston Bruins according to early rumors, but he could end up just about anywhere. We know the Rangers are in a “win now” mentality, considering they have a young core that will only need bigger contracts as time goes on. The Bruins are in talks with Krejci about a return, but if he isn’t back, they are certainly in the market for a 2C. The Capitals as well want to continue to push while they still have Ovechkin, it’ll be interesting to see what moves they make. There have been no rumors of a move out West for Malkin so far.
He isn’t the only top level center available during this free agency, with the likes of Stanley Cup Champion Nazem Kadri, and Claude Giroux also hitting the free agent market.
The Penguins bite and sign Evgeni Malkin to a 4 year deal with a $6.1M AAV! The Penguins were initially holding out to try and get only a 3 year deal, but an agreement has finally been made on a 4 year deal, and Malkin is staying in Pittsburgh!