The number one priority for the Pittsburgh Penguins heading into this offseason was to re-sign Evgeni Malkin to a new contract.  Rumours began to swirl out of the Steel City that the Pens brass and the Russian vet were miles apart early on in contract discussions.  Those closest to the organization suggested that Geno wanted "Much more".  Two words that no general manager ever wants to hear. 

"I feel they don't think I good anymore.  They not want me," said the disenfranchised Magnitogorsk, Russia native.  

Many Penguins players, both current and alum, voiced their disdain for the way that upper management was treating the franchise pivot.  

"Geno is an elite talent who has paid his dues.  This could be his last contract.  He deserves to get paid," said Tyler Kennedy. 

Having recently acquired Malkin for a 2nd and 3rd round pick at the trade deadline, NEFHL pundits were also scratching their heads as to the way things had been shaping up. 

"Talks are awfully quiet out of Pittsburgh," said the Eastern Conference Insider. 

Negotiations broke down after #71 turned down a multi-year pact worth slightly north of $3.5 Million AAV.

And then the captain, Sidney Crosby entered the equation.  It is believed that Crosby vocalized his displeasure to the Penguins camp with regards to the way that Malkin was being treated.  

"That's all hearsay," insisted the VP of hockey operations, Brian Burke. 

With Free Agency looming, the two sides ultimately reached an agreement.  A three year deal worth $12,000,000 total ($4,000,000 AAV)

When asked whether he left money on the table to stay in Pittsburgh, the Russian bull responded in saying, "I very rich man. Money not issue."

 ___________________________________

Article: 3/5