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Crosby’s signed, but Penguins will have to do this all over again with Malkin next year

Jun 29, 2012, 8:44 AM EDT

Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins poses after winning the Ted Lindsay Award, the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Trophy during the 2012 NHL Awards at the Encore Theater at the Wynn Las Vegas on June 20, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(June 19, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

If Sidney Crosby is worth a 12-year, $104.4 million deal, then what will Evgeni Malkin get?

Malkin is coming off of a 50-goal, 109-point campaign. He’s not scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent until the summer of 2014.

“The thing with Gino, as reigning MVP of the league, it’s almost like having two kids you’re equally fond of,” Penguins GM Ray Shero told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We want to keep Gino happy and keep him a Penguin for a long time.”

Malkin has surpassed the century mark in three of his last five seasons and dealt with significant injuries in the other two campaigns. He’s averaged 1.23 points per game over his career compared to Crosby’s 1.40.

Of course, the NHL will have a new CBA this summer. That might come with a reduced salary cap and perhaps some other provisions that might impact Malkin’s next contract. Still, it’s hard to see Malkin agreeing to a deal that pays him much less than Crosby. Currently, the two superstars come with the same cap hit.

Whatever the case, you can bet that the level of speculation and intrigue surrounding Malkin’s contract status in 2013 will rival that of Crosby in 2012.

  1. benzoids - Jun 29, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Signing Malkin will not be an issue. If Sid was concerned about anyone on the team making more $$ than him, he would have signed a max deal. It is refreshing to have an athlete actually consider the ramifications of his contract pertaining to what it would do to the team’s financial flexibility.

  2. tkovacs2 - Jun 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    There’s about as much a chance of Malkin leaving Pittsburgh as there was Crosby. He’ll get locked up next year as well for quite possibly the exact same deal as Sid.

  3. sportsfreak13 - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    Also geno and sid have the same agent and along with signing the same deal as each other before, both athletes have stated they would take less (significantly it appears) to play in pittsburgh. One athlete proved that yesterday and the other will in 364 days.

  4. broadstbully33 - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    Malkin will walk…he doesnt want to be stuck behind a crybaby he wants to be the num 1 cheapshot artist

    • elemeno89 - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      do some people read what they write before posting? malkin will not leave. I can see a similar contract to crosby’s, a longer term with the same cap hit, fronloaded, but not too heavily.

    • miketoasty - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      No, he’s going to leave Giroux to that. Crosby (Used to) whine to refs when he didn’t get a call (At the age of 20) but at least he didn’t start throwing elbows because he didn’t get a call (Giroux, age 24).

  5. napoleonblownapart6887 - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    My guess is that Malkin gets an almost identical deal. He’s the same caliber of player and around the same age who plays the same position… everything lines up.

    I’m interested to get Pens fans’ and other hockey fans’ opinions on this thought: how much of a factor does Mario play in these sort of decisions from the players’ perspective. Mario put up both Sid and Geno in his house while they got their feet under them and both have mentioned that he’s a father figure to them. That coupled with the fact that when they negotiate with him and Shero, they see a bit of themselves on the other side of the table…. maybe I’m making too much of this, but just a thought I had after seeing some of the pictures yesterday.

    • bmscalise - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      Geno lived with the Gonchars, not the Lemieuxs. But while the Malkins doesn’t have the close personal relationship with the Lemieuxs that the Crosbys do, I don’t think it will matter. I suspect Geno will want to stay in Pittsburgh because he’s comfortable in the city and has a support group there; the Malkins genuinely seem to like the city. He has regularly acknowledged how hard the transition was to life in the US, and I don’t think a crazy contract elsewhere will be enough to give up that stability. But that’s just my assessment of his personality: I think he’d be more likely to go back to Russia than to go to another NHL team (and I don’t think he’s ready to go back yet).

      • pajabroni - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:14 AM

        To die-hard pens followers, it was obvious that 87 would keep the same cap hit (8.7 million) because of how superstitious the kid is.

        Also, regarding 71, he is not one to ruffle the feathers of the team. He is not your stereotypical russian. I am willing to guarantee he takes the exact same contract as Crosby. If the new CBA allows the front-loaded deals of today, Malkin will take the exact same.

        It is well documented how 71 thinks Pittsburgh is a lot similar to his hometown of Magnitogorsk and not only does Geno have a large following within the city, so do his parents. His father is somewhat of a cult hero for his behavior during games.

        –also it should be assumed that Parise might have hinted to Brodeur that he was not coming back to NJ…as Darren Drager just reported that Brodeur will test the FA market July 1st.

    • sknut - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      If I was a player I would love it, to have one of the greatest hockey players right there has to be a great influence and credibility to the organization. Not a Pens fan but its cool to see guys balance their ego’s with needs for the team. It will be fun to watch them in the upcoming years.

  6. buffalomafia - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    Cnthia Crosby has to last first week of season first?

    • miketoasty - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      Sidney Crosby is now making $104 million more than you do in the same time frame.

  7. billobrienschindimple - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    @ napoleon

    I would say Mario plays a huge role in the decisions by these players. Sid is still living in Marios house, though he is in the process of building his own home. Geno is in a very similar situation. Each time his parents visit they rave about the area, and his parents have stated that they are thinking about potentially moving to the Burgh.

    When poppa Geno is in the Consol he is the most popular guy there.

    And the fact that 8.7 million can go a lot further in Pittsburgh than it can in New York and other large markets nay have some impact. Coupled with the quality of living bolstered by the tech and energy industries, Pittsburgh has become a pretty nice place to live and play.

  8. rockthered1286 - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    Riddle me this Pens fans:
    How do you plan on a new contract for Geno that’s comparable to Crosbys, while still paying Parise $8mil+ for a long term contract and Suter $7mil+ for 4 or 5 years?

    In no way am I saying that Geno is going anywhere. We all know he’ll stay put (unfortunately) but can you really lock up $33mil or so on 4 players for 5 years or so? That seems like poor decision making that would leave you with roughly $37mil (this year, and could drop with a new CBA in future years) to fill the rest of the roster. This to me is exactly why I don’t see Parise AND Suter both going to the Pens. Suter has the better shot there, and maybe a cheaper older Doan with a shorter contract for help on O.

    Just a thought…

    • steelhammer92 - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      I don’t think signing both guys is going to happen. I don’t even recall Shero saying he wants to sign both guys… There’s no way they are going to overpay for two top-flight FAs, and both guys will certainly be overpaid. I’d rather them get Parise given the young talent they have coming up on D, the fact that they struck out on their previous two defensive signings, and Crosby been in need of a top-end winger his whole career.

      • rockthered1286 - Jun 29, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        About 90% of Pens fans are saying they will sign both, which is the audience I was addressing with the comment. In my opinion, they’d be better served sticking with the high powered offense they have now and upgrading the D. While there may be budding stars in the AHL now, every player is a total crap shoot coming to the NHL. Wouldn’t you feel safer knowing what your offense has already and upgrading your D instead of hoping and praying every one of these guys in the minors pans out? And like I said, a player like Doan is still an upgrade an O, just shorter term and less money.

  9. bmscalise - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    I actually think that a new CBA may work to the advantage of resigning Geno. I know everyone expects him to sign a deal identical to Sid’s again, and perhaps that will happen. But the new CBA very possibly will not allow a 10-yr term, which will take much of the pressure off to do that identical deal. Geno can sign a shorter deal for a higher salary – say 50 mill for 5 years – if he chooses. Geno gets the raise, Sid gets the term, and one deal isn’t obviously better than the other. They can each be their own men without this constant desire by the media to determine who is more important.

  10. vokounviolatesvirginvag - Jun 29, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    philthadelphia and buffalo are irrelevent hockey teams

  11. phillyphan83 - Jun 29, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    bye-bye praise and suter

  12. haoshea87 - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    It’s Geno, not Gino..he’s Russian, not Italian

  13. stakex - Jun 29, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    If people think its not possible Malkin will leave Pittsburgh, they are kidding themselves. Not only are there some unknowns that noone can predict right now (new CBA might have a smaller cap for example), but Malkin himself might want to move on. Sure, hes in a good place in Pittsburgh and probably really likes playing with Crosby. However that comes with a fairly big problem: Even though hes one of the best players in the NHL, hes still stuck in Crosby’s shadow while in Pittsburgh. That might seem like a trivial issue, but its possible Malkin might want to move on to a team where hes the big show in town.

    It should also be noted that Malkin would likely get more money from another team then hes likely to get in Pittsburgh. Not only are the Pens not going to pay him more then Crosby, but the Pens seem to have their eyes on other big name players this offseason. While I doubt Parise is going to the Pens, that doesn’t mean they won’t spend right up to the cap on other additions. That would make it hard to give Malkin any sort of raise next season, and would allow other teams to offer him about $3 million more a season. I’m not saying he would take it, but it IS possible.

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