Malkin Decides Against Testing Free Agency, Resigns with Penguins

A day after breaking off contract talks with the Pittsburgh Penguins and planning to test free agency, Evgeni Malkin reversed course late this afternoon by having his agent J.P. Barry re-engage in contract talks with the Penguins as the two sides have officially agreed on a four year, $24.4 million contract, team announced Tuesday night.

Malkin who turns 36 on July 31st, receives a Full No Move Clause and will make $8 million in year 1 of the contract that includes a $4 million signing bonus. The $24.4 million contract over four years is the same contract the Penguins have had on the table for several days that Malkin walked away from Monday.

“Evgeni is a generational talent who will be remembered as one of the greatest players in NHL history,” Penguins general manager Ron Hextall said Tuesday night in a statement. “His hockey resume and individual accomplishments speak volumes about him as a player, and we are thrilled to watch him continue his remarkable legacy in Pittsburgh.”

Malkin initially planning to test free agency was setting up for Wednesday to be quite a suspenseful day for the Penguins as speculation was rampant throughout the day in league circles that the Washington Capitals were emerging as a serious consideration in the Malkin camp on a short-term deal. Nonetheless, it was all for not.

Pittsburgh will now be less of a player in free agency as the team is down to around $4 million in cap space and chances to move contracts start to dwindle for teams after the free agency frenzy.