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When is the Deadline for Penguins Star Free Agents?

Pittsburgh Penguins President of Hockey Ops Brian Burke reiterated the team's desire to bring back Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin.

The Pittsburgh Penguins' sole focus is on re-signing Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin. With just two weeks left until the opening of the NHL free agency period, the Penguins may be running out of time and patience to get those deals done.

Penguins President of Hockey Ops Brian Burke was on the Jeff Marek Show when he updated the discussions between the organization and its two cornerstone talents. "It's very simple for us," Burke said, "we want them back, but they've got to come back on terms that make sense, or they won't be back."

Reports have indicated that the Penguins and Letang are still roughly $1.25 million apart on their negotiations, while Malkin is seemingly further away on the price of his deal.

While Burke didn't give a hard deadline for negotiations with the star players, the NHL calendar could start to create one in the coming weeks. With free agency right around the corner, the organization may want to know the outcome of these negotiations to continue building its roster through the free-agent market.

In his end of season press conference, Ron Hextall expressed the team's need to utilize young talent next season, but the Penguins have holes on their roster that can't be filled by internal promotions. Specifically the second-line center and right-wing positions. Even if Malkin returns, the Penguins will need to make another signing to round out their top six.

While the Penguins are seemingly negotiating with both stars, the ball seems to be in Letang's court. Once Letang is signed, the Penguins will have a better idea of if and how they will bring back Malkin. Burke finished his interview by saying, "there has to be a sequence here. One has to sign and then the other, or maybe neither of them. But it's coming to a head soon."

With exactly two weeks until free agency, that deadline could be coming fast for these two Penguin legends.

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