Another season again ended prematurely for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and there is already big time news coming from within the locker room.
It was no secret that Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang were playing on the final year of their contracts, and fans began preparing for the end of the big three in Pittsburgh.
With each passing second, it seems as if that may become a reality this summer.
According to Penguins insider Rob Rossi on 93.7 The Fan, the team has already reached out to Malkin and Letang with offers, but not appealing ones.
“[Malkin] and Letang were both offered three-year contracts at $5 million AAV.”
For context: Malkin currently makes $9 million and Letang makes $7.25 million.
Hitting $5 million against the salary cap would be a massive pay cut for both players, and not close to what either of them were looking for.
According to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, Letang’s camp wants a contract that lasts for a minimum of five years and a salary that start with a 7.
While Malkin has admitted he is willing to take a pay cut to stay in Pittsburgh, dropping from $9 million to $5 million might be a bit too much of a discount.
From what Rossi has stated, the Penguins are low-balling their stars and that can’t play well into the favor of keeping the core together.
A term of three years makes the most sense; both are 35-years-old and nearing the end of their careers. The Penguins have to be focused on winning and not carrying around aging stars.
With Fenway Sports Group taking over duties as owners, they are not afraid to clean house and make changes from the ground up.
There have also already been discussions that general manager Ron Hextall and president of hockey operations Brian Burke may not survive the summer in Pittsburgh.
“I don’t think this management group had a great offseason last year,” Rossi said. “And I’m not sure they’re going to get another one.”
It will be a long offseason for the Penguins, and the fans might want to brace themselves for the ending of what has been an incredible 16 years.
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