Evgeni Malkin is staying in Pittsburgh.
After some tense negotiating and reports that he was set to test the market, Malkin and the Penguins found common ground on Tuesday night, agreeing to terms on a four-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $6.1 million.
The deal, which now ties Malkin to Pittsburgh through the 2025-26 season, will likely be the last of his career, as the 35-year-old seems destined to end his remarkable tenure in the NHL with the only team he's ever known.
It wasn't easy to get this deal finalized, though.
According to reports, this was a grueling negotiation, with the Penguins pushing back hard on giving Malkin a fourth year and cap space rapidly drying up. But the Penguins finally relented at the last possible hour, ensuring that one of the best players in franchise history will remain with the team for the foreseeable future.
Despite injury issues in recent years, Malkin is a remarkably productive player when he steps on the ice.
The Russian centre scored 42 points in 41 games last season, scoring fewer than a point per game just once in his entire career. Even after missing half of the year and likely playing injured when he did return, Malkin still racked up 20 goals in 2021-22, proving he is still among the league's best players when healthy.
That health will be the biggest question mark moving forward. But with a shiny new contract under his belt, and all the warm and fuzzy feelings that come with it, Malkin should remain an important piece in the Penguins' Cup aspirations for the next few years.