The Pittsburgh Penguins signed franchise center Evgeni Malkin to a four-year deal, effectively confirming that he will spend the remainder of his career with the organization. Malkin was signed late into the evening on the night before he expected to head into free agency for the first time in his 16-year NHL career.
The 35-year-old center was entrenched in negotiations with the Penguins over the weekend and into Monday when, according to TSN's Darren Dreger, Malkin grew frustrated and decided that he wanted to test out the free agent market.
Cooler heads prevailed, and Malkin, with his agent JP Barry, resumed negotiations with Penguins general manager Ron Hextall 24 hours later until a deal was signed. With Malkin back in the fold until 2026, the Penguins have presumably locked in their core group of Malkin, Kris Letang, and Sidney Crosby for the rest of their careers.
Hextall wasn't finished yet, as he made two other signings before the opening of NHL free agency. Rickard Rakell re-signed in Pittsburgh after a short but successful stint with the team following his acquisition at the NHL trade deadline last season. Penguins prospect PO Joseph also received a new deal, keeping him with the organization for at least the next two seasons.
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