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?
The Penguins will spend 28.3% of their salary on two players that have missed 32.7% of the last four seasons.—
RMNB (@russianmachine) June 13, 2013
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.