There is little doubt Malkin has risen to the challenge in Crosby's absence. I think Crosby's injury and Ovechkin's contract both are motivational tools for Geno. Through his insane play, Malkin has positioned himself for a contract similar to that of his countryman Ovechkin. I'm sure the Penguins are trying or will try very soon -- no later than this summer -- to extend Malkin's contract.
His deal will expire after next season.
More and more, with Ovechkin’s contract signed a lot of people are zeroing in on Malkin as the next big potential RFA to be. And with the way he’s been playing, for good reason.
But here’s the catch; Malkin’s only in the second season of the standard three year entry level contract. The CBA says the Pens can’t even talk extension with him until this summer, at the earliest.
Buccigross has become just the latest to subtly hint or suggest that Malkin’s long-term status as a Penguin could be in jeopardy. Nothing’s ever final until the pen hits the paper, of course, but the two sides aren’t allowed to even talk contract until after this season….It’s not going to happen but we wish the focus would be more on the hockey Geno’s playing right now, than his contract status.