According to a few sources, including Rob Rossi of The Athletic and Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are negotiating with the Pittsburgh Penguins and looking to sign extensions with the team. Unfortunately, the Penguins organization might not be making it easy.
Rossi writes that Malkin is looking to stay, quoting the forward who said, “I love this city and the fans … it’s my second hometown.” He adds that Malkin has made it clear he’d like to sign a three or four-year deal, potentially lining things up to finish his tenure at the same time as Sidney Crosby, but that his agent is looking after all of that. Meanwhile, Friedman writes that the Penguins and Malkin’s agent have definitely discussed a three-year term, but the two sides were far, far apart on a number that would keep him in Pittsburgh. Rossi writes, “Sources tell The Athletic that Malkin’s camp found an in-season offer “insulting,” an offer of an annual average value around $5 million per season on a multi-season deal.”
Evgeni Malkin Kris Letang Penguins
Letang, meanwhile, was reportedly given an offer similar to the one they made to Malkin during the regular season. Rossi adds that the offers the Penguins made to Letang and Malkin “did not sit well” with Crosby.
So Will Both Players Leave?
Friedman believes the Penguins have upped their offer to Letang and it’s now somewhere in the four-year range worth slightly less than the average salary of $7.25 million he’s making now. Will that be enough to keep him, especially knowing a team like the Montreal Canadiens are probably hoping Letang shakes loose?
As for Malkin, it’s not clear if the Penguins plan to up their offer.
Malkin said during his media avail, “Pittsburgh is my second hometown. I’ve been here 16 years. It’s hard to understand what’s going on right now.” He added, “I hope we find a way to all be happy.” Malkin isn’t looking to leave and wants to retire a Penguin, but it’s starting to look like he’s going to have to explore other options. And, he sounds prepared to move on. He’s already considered what it will mean if a deal doesn’t get done and noted he’ll move his family to another city and try to find a fit. He’s not prepared to leave the game yet.
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