Penguins pay Rickard Rakell with six-year extension as Evgeni Malkin gets set to walk

rickard rakell
May 15, 2022; New York, New York, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Rickard Rakell (67) takes a shot against the New York Rangers during the overtime period of game seven of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This probably isn’t going over to well in Pittsburgh with some fans but the Penguins have re-signed Rickard Rakell after Evgeni Malkin says he’s walking.

Rakell, 29, was acquired at the trade deadline and inked a 6-year deal that will pay him $5 million per season. While it certainly isn’t the forward’s fault, the news came on the same day that Evgeni Malkin said he would test free agency for the first time in his 16 year NHL career all spent in Pittsburgh.

“Rickard proved that he is a great addition to our team this season,” Pens’ GM Ron Hextall said in a statement. “He brings versatility and offense to our lineup, and we know he will be an impactful player for us going forward.”

Penguins re-sign Rickard Rakell

rickard rakell
Apr 10, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates with right wing Rickard Rakell (right) after Crosby scored the game winning goal in overtime against the Nashville Predators at PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Rakell spent 9 1/2 seasons with the Anaheim Ducks before he was dealt to the Penguins on Feb. 21 in exchange for a 2022 second-round draft choice, centers Zach Aston-Reese and Dominik Simon and goalie Calle Clang.

Rakell produced four goals and nine assists in 19 regular-season games for the Penguins, giving him 20 goals and 21 assists in 70 games on the season. He had no points in two postseason games.

The 20-goal season was the fourth of Rakell’s career, with his high being 34 in 2017-18.

In 569 career NHL games, Rakell has 158 goals and 194 assists. He also has 11 goals and eight assists in 48 postseason games.

As for the Penguins, per CapFriendly they still have $10.3 million in space and a re-signing Malkin isn’t necessarily out of the question.

Malkin, 35, recorded 42 points in 41 games last season after coming off knee surgery. He reportedly turned down a 2-year offer for $6 million per season, looking for at least for 4-years at that money value.

Negotiations have also not gone well with the center questioning: “Do they want me?”

According to Rob Rossi of The Athletic, Malkin is very unhappy with the current situation. Rossi also spoke with friends and teammates who claim Malkin was “devastated” over the negotiations.

“It bothers me how this is happening,” relayed one of Malkin’s teammates. “It’s a bad look. From what I know of what’s happened, Geno deserves better.”

The Penguins certainly kept the younger player in Rakell but losing one of Sidney Crosby’s oldest teammates is going to have some backlash.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article