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Evgeni Malkin takes hometown discount to seal new deal with Penguins

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Evgeni Malkin signed a new contract extension with the Pittsburgh Penguins

Despite the rumors, trading Evgeni Malkin was never really an option for the Penguins. (Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

By Allan Muir

Shortly after the Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they’d signed Evgeni Malkin to an eight-year, $76 million extension this morning, the blog Russian Machine Never Breaks tweeted a pretty tidy perspective on the deal. The numbers illustrate the massive risk that the Pens have exposed themselves to with this contract and the 12-year, $104.4 million deal signed by Sidney Crosby last year. But when you’ve got the chance to lock down the two best players in the world, what else are you gonna do?

Risk aside, this agreement is still a big win for GM Ray Shero, who is doing a nice job of getting his house in order ahead of the draft and the start of free agency. Trading a game-breaking talent like former MVP Malkin, or worse, letting him escape for nothing next summer, was never an option. This deal keeps the player happy, and ensures that Pittsburgh employs the best 1-2 center punch in hockey for nearly a decade to come.

The average annual value of Malkin’s extension is $9.5 million, which is noticeably, if not significantly, higher than the $8.7 million AAV of Crosby’s deal. Don’t expect that to be a problem.

If Shero ever had any intention of using Crosby’s number as a ceiling, in the manner that Boston’s Harry Sinden depressed every other Bruin’s contract with his Ray Bourque Rule, that plan was kiboshed by the term limits applied through the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Crosby’s term and total were considerably greater than what Shero could offer Malkin, so boosting his AAV was his only recourse to “level” the financial playing field.

Still, Malkin took a discount to get the deal done. Forget about those $15 million per year in the KHL rumors for a minute. If Pittsburgh hadn’t eagerly taken care of him at this point, there would have been a line of teams happy to do so next summer, and $10 million would have been just the starting point.

So good on Malkin, and Crosby, for aiding the organization by leaving money on the table. Unfortunately, it might not be enough to impact negotiations with Kris Letang, who also needs an extension this summer. The Norris Trophy-finalist is said to be looking for something in the range of the deals signed last summer by Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, which would put him between $7-8 million per year for eight years.

Letang won’t get that from Pittsburgh. Instead, look for an offer somewhere in the range of five years, $33 million. If that doesn’t get it done, he’ll get shipped out of town–sooner rather than later–to maximize his return in a Jordan Staal-style deal, and his roster spot will be contested by the wealth of young defensive talent Shero has wisely stockpiled through trades and the draft.

Always seems like he’s one step ahead, doesn’t it?

  • Published On Jun 13, 2013
  • 8 comments
    hereandback
    hereandback

    25% of their salary cap...25% for 2 players that have a history of extended injury time. That leave 75% for the 21 other people on the roster at any given time or roughly 3.5% average. This is not a criticism of Malkin. I like him. This is a criticism of keeping the coach, his staff and the same key role players as we have seen for the last 2 years that are full of talent (arguably the best team in the league on paper) but can't seem to make it to the next level. It is simply my belief that this team as structured does not have what it takes. So how are they going to get it? Well obviously they don't plan on changing the coach and his ideas. So the Draft? Trades? They have 7.8 million open...that's it. capgeek.com/penguins/

    robobrien21
    robobrien21

    AWESOME !!!!!! An annual salary cap hit of $9.5 million, plus a no-movement clause. As a fan of a Penguins rival this is GREAT news. Now, if the Penguins keep Geno on the point on their power-play that will be the 'icing on the cake'. It looks like Ray Shero may, subconsciously, be a Devils, Flyers, Rangers, Islanders fan :-)

    moe06281983
    moe06281983

    @hereandback  ... did you just want to complain no matter what the article said?    cuz ur post escapes logic.    the main topic - malkin signs for 8y/76m, and the secondary item - sid previously signed for 12y/104m - speak of contracts other teams would be more than happy to have on their books.     I agree w your point that the penguins have not yet adressed the reasons they failed to advance, but you a posting to an article that discusses 2 good moves made by the penguins, not 2 bad ones.   it's almost as if you are trying to link them together.   as if signing malkin and/or sid is a bad idea.

    hereandback
    hereandback

    So in other words....after the Pens took an early vacation again this year, they have done nothing to change the reasons for the exit. What is the definition of insanity? Continually doing the same thing and expecting a different results? Good news for the rest of the Eastern Conference teams. 

    hereandback
    hereandback

    @moe06281983 @hereandback Signing the 2 "best" centers in the league for the majority of their salary hasn't worked in the past and probably won't work in the future. They need more help than what these two can provide. But where will they get it? They can't buy it because 1/4 of their money is tied up in two players that have a history of extended injuries. Common sense. Keep barking up the same tree won't result in any more cups. They needed a shake up and it didn't happen.

    dpaslawski
    dpaslawski

    @hereandback Early exit is relative. There are probably 25 teams that would have been happy to make it to the conference finals. Pens need a goalie. If only Grant Fuhr were available.

    JoeCabot
    JoeCabot

    @hereandback So signing one guy, one of the top players in the league, is doing the same thing?   And how would getting rid of Malkin be a good move?

    doghockey
    doghockey

    @hereandback They re-signed one guy.  One of the better players in the league.  If one move constitutes doing the same then you live in a rather simple world.