The Pittsburgh Penguins announced a major contract extension for superstar forward Evgeni Malkin, signing the center to an eight year, $76 million contract extension.
The team announced the move on Thursday morning — less than one week after Pittsburgh’s season came to an end in the Eastern Conference Finals. Malkin, alongside Sidney Crosby, formed one of the most dangerous front lines in the NHL this past season, earning the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Penguins were stifled in their series with the Boston Bruins, coming up short of the Stanley Cup Finals. However, with Malkin back in the fold and a major decision already in the bag this off-season, Pittsburgh can continue their climb in terms of continued contention within the Eastern Conference.
Malkin, who is just 26 years old, is one of just three Penguins in franchise history to win multiple Art Ross Trophies as the NHL’s scoring leader. He did so in 2009 and then again in 2012. Pittsburgh’s decision comes just one day after the team also announced a two-year contract extension for head coach Dan Bylsma.
Rumors have always surrounded Malkin and his contract, but the superstar has also expressed an interest in staying in Pittsburgh and continuing his career with the Penguins. This latest deal will give him that exact opportunity.
The extensions for both Bylsma and Malkin show that the team is satisfied with the direction of their organization, despite failing to reach the Stanley Cup Finals here in 2013. — a good sign moving forward for the Penguins.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS