Rickard Rakell wasn’t the first pending free agent to re-sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins this offseason.
Frankly, he didn’t expect to be.
Not when GM Ron Hextall had negotiating new contracts for the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Bryan Rust at the top of his to-do list.
“I knew that management had a lot of work in front of them, with Malkin and (Letang) and (Rust) getting new contracts,” Rakell told a conference call Wednesday. “I was just trying to sit back and wait for my turn, basically.”
His patience was rewarded Monday, when Rakell agreed to a six-year contract that carries a $5 million salary-cap hit. The deal came weeks after Rust got his and was sandwiched between Letang and Malkin finalizing theirs.