As Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ron Hextall arrived in Montreal ahead of the 2022 NHL Draft, he said that they are close to a new contract for veteran defenseman Kris Letang.
“I’m hoping to have something done real soon here,” the Penguins GM said regarding Letang.
Hextall, however, did not speak with the same confidence when asked about Evgeni Malkin.
“We’re still working,” Hextall said. “I spoke with him as recently last night. We’ll see where it goes.”
The Penguins made it clear not too long ago that between the two, Letang is the priority; that is clear to see given the current state of negotiations.
But what exactly is going on with Malkin and his deal? Judging by reports, it’s still a work in progress.
Rob Rossi of the Athletic noted that sources confirmed the Penguins offered Malkin a two-year deal worth $6 million annually, a $3.5 million decline in pay from his previous contract.
Malkin is aware his new contract won’t reach his former price, but the Penguins would have to bend a little on the term for him to take $6 million.
According to sources, if Malkin drops to $6 million he wants four years.
Malkin is expecting his new contract to be his last in the NHL, and four years would take him to the age of 39 in the year 2026.
With reports that the new Letang deal will surpass three seasons, and the Malkin contract could be two or four years, lining them up with the end of Sindey Crosby’s contract doesn’t seem to be in play anymore.
The plan for all partied involved is to get deals done so Malkin and Letang remain in Pittsburgh, that has been the plan since the beginning of the offseason.
While things aren’t totally out of reach, there is still work to be done.
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