Evgeni Malkin will test a free hand as a star center for the first time in his career and the Pittsburgh Penguins remain in a contractual impasse, an NHL source told ESPN on Monday, confirming a TSN report.
Malkin, 35, has spent all 16 years of his career with the Penguins. He, along with center Sidney Crosby and defenseman Kris Letang, was part of the core that helped Pittsburgh win the Stanley Cup three times. Malkin won the 2011-12 Hart Trophy as league MVP and the 2009 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
He has 1,146 points in 981 games with Pittsburgh.
While the Penguins signed veteran free agent Letang to a new six-year deal last week, they have yet to agree on an agreement with Malkin.
The Athletic reported that Pittsburgh went from an average annual value of $6 million on a two-year deal to the same cap on a three-year deal. But Malkin is aiming for terms beyond that in his next deal.
GM Ron Hextall has stated his intention to bring Malkin back and he believes the feeling is mutual. According to Hextall, they “tinkered” with a contract but couldn’t seem to find anything in common.
Though slowed by injuries, Malkin scored 20 goals and 22 points in 41 games for the Penguins last season and had six points overall in seven playoff games.
https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/34228366/evgeni-malkin-amid-talks-pittsburgh-penguins-test-nhl-free-agency-first-career-source-says Longtime Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin to test NHL free agency in career first, source says