Penguins extend Kris Letang for 6-years, is Evgeni Malkin next?

kris letang
Mar 8, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) takes the ice against the Florida Panthers during the first period at PPG Paints Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang has agreed to a new six-year extension worth $36.6 million on Thursday. The AAV on this new deal is $6.1 million and expires in 2027-28 when he turns 41.

“Kris epitomizes what it means to be a Pittsburgh Penguin,” GM Ron Hextall said in a press release. “The role he plays on our team is irreplaceable, he is a leader in our locker room, and has made countless contributions to the organization over the last 15-plus years, which includes three Stanley Cup Championships. We are thrilled to make him a Penguin for life.”

The native of Montreal, Quebec was selected by the Penguins in the third round (62nd overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft.

According to CapFriendly, the Penguins now have $15.3 million in cap space with 18 players under contract.

Penguins sign Kris Letang

kris letang
Feb 27, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins celebrate the game winning goal by Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) during the first overtime period between the New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

Letang, 35, recorded 68 points in 78 games last season and added 4 more points in 7 playoff contests. The three-time Stanley Cup winner (2009, 2016, and 2017) is also the Penguins all-time leader among defenseman for goals (144), assists (506), points (650), and games played (941). He holds the playoff records for goals (23), assists (67), points (90) and games played (149).

Only Sidney Crosby (1,108) and Evgeni Malkin (981) have played more regular-season games for the Penguins.

Which brings us to what’s next for the Penguins?

On Wednesday, Hextall addressed the media and told them that a deal was close with Letang. When Malkin was mentioned all he could say was it’s being worked on.

It’s been reported that a two-year offer at $6M AAV is on the table, but Malkin would be more willing to accept that money if the term was for 4 years.

Malkin, 35, finished the year with 42 points in 41 games. He wrapped up a deal worth $9.5M AAV against the cap.

We will see where this goes, but it would be hard to see Malkin in another jersey.