Various sources report this morning the Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward Evgeni Malkin to an eight-year, $76 million contract extension, effective 2014-15.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Well, that didn’t take long, did it? Both Malkin and Penguins management stated their desire to get a deal done as quickly as possible, and as I expected, he took a hometown discount to leave more money for GM Ray Shero to make other signings. The cap hit works out to be $9.5 million per season, more than Crosby’s $8.7 million, but nowhere near the cap maximum of $12.86 million.
I’m sure there will be some folks in the NHLPA grumbling over Malkin taking less than market value, but this was necessary if the Penguins are to have sufficient dollars in the coming years to bolster their roster.
There was never any doubt Malkin would re-sign or that the Penguins would offer him a lucrative long-term deal. It reflects the commitment both sides have made toward maintaining a contending franchise.
Now, the focus shifts to Kris Letang who is eligible for UFA status next summer. Remains to be seen if he’ll also accept a hometown discount, but at least Malkin leaving some money on the table provide additional to put toward Letang.