© NHL press serviceEvgeni Malkin
MOSCOW, 21 July – Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin is not thrilled with the new contract with the club, which general manager Ron Hextall forced him to sign, according to The Athletic journalist Josh Yohe.
Before the free agency market opened, Malkin signed a new four-year deal with the club. The forward’s average salary will be $6.1 million per season (total contract value is $24.4 million). Previously, the Russian had an eight-year contract with the club for a total of $76 million.
“It’s easy to praise the players for ‘taking less money’, but let’s give credit to Hextall. Malkin is clearly not happy with the way the negotiations went, and he’s not happy with the contract he signed. The negotiations were contentious. Hextall made a bet that Malkin didn’t really want to leave Pittsburgh. He was right and won the bid,” Yohe wrote.
Malkin, 35, was selected by Pittsburgh in the 2004 draft in the first round, second overall. He played 981 NHL games with the Penguins, scoring 1,146 points (444 goals + 702 assists). In the past regular season in 41 games, Malkin scored 20 goals and gave 22 assists.