Evgeni Malkin Signs an Extension with the Pittsburgh Penguins

Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Against all odds, Evgeni Malkin is back with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It’s no secret that this offseason’s contract situation between Malkin and the Penguins had not been smooth. There had been all kinds of reports that Malkin felt disrespected and that he was depressed about potentially leaving Pittsburgh.

While that very well may have been the case, any ill will is now a distant memory as Geno and the Pens have agreed to a new four-year contract that will keep one of the greatest players in franchise history right where he belongs.

My thought at first was that he would become available and would test free agency. The future Hall of Famer seemed destined to do just that, but in the end, Malkin and the Pens found their way back to each other.

Evgeni Malkin and the Penguins agreed to a new contract.

To me, Pittsburgh did the right thing by taking care of the Bryan Rust and Kris Letang extensions first. However, something had to be done to keep Malkin in the Steel City. After all, number 71 did manage to tally a point per game last year despite playing only half of the season.

Had he decided to sign elsewhere, the Penguins would have had a huge gap to fill at the center position and on the power play. For a team that is trying to win another Stanley Cup right now, that would have been a difficult hole to plug.

Instead, the Penguins will continue one of the most impressive runs in the history of professional sports. It’s not every day that three elite players play together for as long as Malkin, Letang, and Sidney Crosby have, and the ride has not yet come to an end.

The Pens win big here for obvious reasons, and now they can direct their attention in free agency to filling out the roster and adding to what is already in place, rather than attempt to fill the enormous shoes that Malkin would have left behind.

light. Trending. The Columbus Blue Jackets Need to Bring Patrik Laine Back

It wasn’t easy for the Penguins, Malkin, or the fans, but in the end, 71 is staying exactly where he’s supposed to be.