After failing to come to a deal, the Pittsburgh Penguins are in danger of losing one of their franchise cornerstones. According to NHL Insider Darren Dreger of TSN, Evgeni Malkin will dive into the free agency pool this week.
Breaking: Sources say Evgeni Malkin has decided to go to the open market on Wednesday. Malkin has never been a free agent before and wants to see what his options are.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 11, 2022
Along with Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang, Malkin has been one of the faces of the organization for more than 15 years. The Russian center was drafted by Pittsburgh second overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and has been a Penguin his entire career.
The soon-to-be 36-year-old is coming off an injury-plagued season that saw him play just 41 games. When healthy, Malkin was still effective as he put up 20 goals and 22 assists, including 20 points on the power play.
While his career in Steel Town is not over yet, there have been reports that Malkin has not been happy with how contract negotiations have been going with general manager Ron Hextall. The sticking point appeared to be the duration of the deal, with Malkin wanting at least four years.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the Penguins with the ninth-shortest odds at +2000 to take next year’s Stanley Cup.