Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/08/13 at 01:45 PM ET
In a paid subsciption, Craig Custance of ESPN discusses the possibility of paying and/or moving Malkin.
I've tried to post the most important part here...
Evgeni Malkin, who was arguably the Penguins' best player in Game 3, is entering the final year of his contract that pays him $8.7 million next season. He can sign an extension in July, and those negotiations will be fascinating because he'll become the biggest star to work out a new deal under the restrictions of the CBA.
Pittsburgh can't drive down the annual salary cap hit with extra years on the end of the contract because of the new rules regarding contract length under the new CBA. The longest Malkin can sign with the Penguins is eight years, and that option drops to seven years if Malkin hits the market in 2014. According to Article 50.6 of the new CBA, the yearly salary of a player can't exceed 20 percent of the upper limit at the time the standard player contract is signed. So that's $14 million under the current salary cap of $70.2 million and $12.86 million when it drops to $64.3 million next year.
Malkin may be the first player to test those limits. He's a franchise center who is still just 26 years old. He also has the threat, if he doesn't get a deal to his liking from the Penguins, of playing in the KHL, a league that doesn't have the same restrictions on salaries for its stars the NHL has. An annual salary in the $15 million range is something Malkin could demand in the KHL.
If he hit the open market next summer, he'd be the best free agent in years. Better than Zach Parise, Brad Richards, Ilya Kovalchuk or Ryan Suter -- all players who landed huge contracts in free agency.
There's no reason to expect he deserves anything less than what Crosby got last year when Crosby signed a 12-year contract extension worth $104.4 million. The problem is, the contract is capped at eight years, which would work out to $13 million per season if the total dollar amount is the same.
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