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Breaking News: Malkin Planning to Test Free-Agent Market

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Evgeni Malkin

Evgeni Malkin’s fabled career with the Pittsburgh Penguins might be over.

Malkin, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent Wednesday, plans to test the market then, as talks for a new deal with the Penguins apparently have reached a dead end.

Malkin’s intentions were confirmed by parties on both sides of the negotiations with the Penguins.

Malkin, who has insisted that he wanted to spend his entire career here, still could re-sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins if he does not find something to his liking on the open market.

Malkin, who turns 36 this month, and the Penguins could not reconcile their differences on a new contract. As the deadline neared, the Penguins appeared to be sticking to three years on their offer, and Malkin wanted either more money at that term or a fourth year to raise the overall contract value.

His expiring contract carried an AAV of $9.5 million, and he will be one of the biggest names on the free-agent market.

While the Penguins were in Montreal last week for the NHL Draft, they announced that another core player, defenseman Kris Letang, had avoided free agency and agreed to a six-year, $36.6 million contract.

At that point, GM Ron Hextall did not seem overly optimistic about negotiations with Malkin, although he and Malkin had made it clear they wanted him to re-sign and, ideally, retire with the team that selected him second overall in the 2004 NHL draft.

The other member of the core player trio, center Sidney Crosby, has three seasons remaining on his contract. Crosby is the team captain; Malkin and Letang have served as the alternate captains.

A fourth long-time core player, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, left in 2017 – just after the Penguins’ latest Stanley Cup title – when he was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in their expansion draft, something that was orchestrated by both clubs.

Malkin is expected to reach the major milestone of 1,000 games early in the coming season. He sits at 981 games, with 444 goals and 1,146 points, in his career. He won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year in 2007, the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP when the Penguins won the Cup in 2009, the Art Ross Trophy as scoring champion in 2009 and 2012, the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2012 and the Ted Lindsay Award as most outstanding player as voted by fellow players in 2012.

Evgeni Malkin has 67 goals, 180 points in 177 playoff games.

Last season, Malkin averaged just over a point a game – 20 goals, 42 points in 41 games – but he missed the first half of the season because of major knee surgery last offseason.

In fact, Malkin has missed significant time because of injuries in recent seasons. The closest he has come to a full season in more than a decade was 78 games in 2017-18.

Malkin still looked dominant at times this past season, although some believe he isn’t the skater he used to be.

Shelly Anderson contributed to this report.

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Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
1 month ago

He’ll be back here in a Pens sweater.

RYAN
RYAN
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Fisher

He will be gone if he hits free agency…that’s how this goes. Yinzers have convinced themselves he’s not a draw…but he is…he can be electric when he’s on…
So he’s got 36 hours – give or take – left on the pens if there is no detente moment tonight or tomorrow

ThePenguin71
ThePenguin71
1 month ago
Reply to  RYAN

The flat cap cuts down the number of teams who might be interested in him, and it is difficult to think of a team that will go 4/24 with him that has the cap space, is a contender, and has a hole at C.

Tim Curtis
Tim Curtis
1 month ago
Reply to  RYAN

Unfortunately, Geno isn’t ‘on’ enough to pay him what he wants!

Chris R
Chris R
1 month ago

You know what’s a scary thought? A pissed-off Malkin on a rival team.

GBG
GBG
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris R

I’ve never understood that sentiment about him, that he needs to be angry to play well. The “professional” in “professional athlete” is supposed to carry a bit more weight than “I get paid to play.” They should bring the best they’ve got all the time.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris R

Yeah, imagine how many brain-dead penalties and turnovers he’ll cough up then . . .

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul
Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris R

And who can blame him in his fury after the team jammed $118,000,000 down his throat and has the gall to throw another $18,000,000 his way! Credit to him for scraping through on that. He can now finally find someone that wants him!

J1234
J1234
1 month ago

It was a good run Geno good luck!

Stephen Powanda
Stephen Powanda
1 month ago

Geno good luck in the future. We had to know one way or the other. It is time to move on.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago

Yessssssssss! This is the best hockey news that I’ve heard in years! Now dial up J.R. and get Miller for Marino and a sweetener. Meanwhile, Malkin has exposed himself for what he really is with all this bullspit about brothers and no need for a big contract, blah-blah-blah. Turned out Letang was the guy who compromised, surprise, surprise.

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul
CPA
CPA
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

GMRH needs to sign #2 C, 5 Wingers, & move contracts adding to the mayhem in less then 40hrs. LD PO Joseph slots in 3rd line. Moving RD Marino $4.4m, prospect & pick’s w/o moving other contracts does not help the overall Cap by itself & also puts Pens defense in 5 LD 2RD shift. GMJR is salivating to try and take a chunk from the Pens for a 1 yr contract

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul

Miller for Marino? I don’t think that will ever happen, but what a steal if it does.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Like I mentioned, the deal would have to include another piece or two. Kapanen, perhaps? A lesser draft pick? We know how much J.R. likes Marino . . .

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul
Katherine Verbeke
Katherine Verbeke
1 month ago

That’s too bad. I would rather have him on our team than on an opponent’s….

Ed Andrews
Ed Andrews
1 month ago

Sucks, but follow your wifepoos direcction, i wanted you back but not for JT miller price, thanks for be great while you were with the pens. Time marches on soon with Letang and unmistably crosby

Tootus
Tootus
1 month ago

He’ll be lucky to get more than 6 million and my guess is that’s what Hextall offered, based on Letangs contract

Steve Malik
Steve Malik
1 month ago

So how much is 71 looking for ? $$ or more years

Brandon O
Brandon O
1 month ago

Malkin is using whatever leverage he has to get paid as this is likely his last NHL contract. He definitely has some magic left in the tank but 4 years is a huge risk. Even by year 3, he will be a shell of himself. He is rightfully being offered 6 million for 3 years if the reports are true. In 2019, Joe Pavelski signed with Dallas for his 35, 36 and 37 yo seasons. Malkin arguably is a better player but they are comparable situations. Pavelski had been a consistent 65-70 pt center and had a largely injury free… Read more »

Brian
Brian
1 month ago

Maybe KHL will be an option.

charmaine dawso
charmaine dawso
1 month ago

i am so disappointed. Malkin has been a terrific player for the Penguins and would Chave been a #1 Center on any other team—Sid understood the player Geno was and that’s why Geno was always the last team player onto the ice…i understand the business side…..still is a point a game player…..sad !!!

Cal
Cal
1 month ago

The reason he is ahead of Sid on the ice is because Sid always wants to be last and Malkin pulled the “I have one more year seniority move” from his year in Russia before coming here. Classic hilarious Malkin.

Katz is Dumb
Katz is Dumb
1 month ago

Hextall needs to get Rakell locked up ASAP.

Ujn Hunter
1 month ago
Reply to  Katz is Dumb

Got ’em!

Jason
Jason
1 month ago

My initial reaction to this story is “Hextall what the hell?” Two questions: Is it term hanging up this deal? And if the 4th year is a sticking point, do the penguins honestly believe they’ll be in some kind of better position without Malkin 3 years from now? This screams to me as a decision that hastens the rebuild, not prolongs any chance of a decent playoff run. What top-tier Malkin comparable UFA center is coming to Pittsburgh at the twilight of Pens cup chances? At some point, the window is going to close and the last two years of… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jason
Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason

That depends on who they sign to be the 2C. Lots of good ones available.

Cal
Cal
1 month ago

Geno is and always has been one of my all time favorite Penguins but it is time to move on. Thank you and great fortunes for you unless you play the Penguins. Now Hex, GO GET COPP TO FILL HIS SPOT!

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Cal

Copp as a 2c? 🤔 ok, i bet he will get more on the fa market than Malkin

Cal
Cal
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

That will be a good one to watch for sure!

Dan Kingerski
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

I’ll take that bet, based on AAV. If I win, you have to subscribe. If you win, free yearly sub. Deal?

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan Kingerski

Already subscribed, also being facetious 😆 Also, is he capable of being a 2c?

CPA
CPA
1 month ago

It’s now all on GMRH who has had plenty of time to know the trade/FA market. Do not wait, do not think something will develop make it develop, move contracts open that salary cap for FA.

DaGama
DaGama
1 month ago

Wonder how much the Russian economic situation has negatively affected his net worth?

Pete
Pete
1 month ago

Now go get a Free Agent center. Lots of em will have better years than Malkin next year.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

He will end up with the Caps. Calling it, but hope i am wrong

Ben
Ben
1 month ago

Well………..Bye.

Tim Curtis
Tim Curtis
1 month ago

I for one am NOT disappointed! Malkin is too injury prone and too inconsistent on the ice to justify more than a 3 year contract at $8.5 – 9.5 million/yr! Personally I wouldn’t have offered him more than a 2 year, $7 million/yr. He’s missed so many games over the past 7-10 years that he should be appreciative of what the Penguins offered. He’ll sign with someone else and be lucky to play 1/2 the season due to injury. Geno at times can be a dominate offensive force on the ice, but those times are too few to justify the… Read more »

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

I am fairly confident someone is going to cough up dollars and term that will make Malkin happy. To me that means he will get something more than $7 million and to get the deal done he may actually get his 4 years. Just about an GM could make a case to do that . . . outside of Pittsburgh . . .. to fans. And if he stays healthy he is going to provide a good year for his new team . .. maybe two. Good for him. But he is 36 and somewhat fragile. Every time he goes… Read more »

Doug Favell
1 month ago

Malkin will land with the Capitals and be Ovechkin’s sideshow. He’ll regret it.

Last edited 1 month ago by Doug Favell

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