With NHL free agency right around the corner, there are a lot of players that have been qualified, and there are some that are looking to be re-signed by their respective teams before hitting the open market. Evgeni Malkin has been offered a three-year deal worth $6 mil- $6.5 mil per season.
Malkin wants a fourth season in the deal, and general manager Ron Hextall will not give it to him. This could potentially put Evgeni Malkin on a different team next season, and it could potentially change the Pittsburgh Penguins’ betting odds for the 2023 NHL Stanley Cup title. Speaking of odds, there are those that don’t want to focus on hockey and want to see the NASCAR odds. So, where does Malkin play next year?
There is still a chance Evgeni Malkin decides to come back for the only team he has played for throughout his entire NHL career and has won three Stanley Cups with. He has played alongside Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang for the longest time. Malkin needs to wise up a little bit and take what Hextall is offering him.
It is more than fair, and remember when Evgeni Malkin said the money didn’t matter? Well, the ego is playing here, and maybe Brian Burke/Ron Hextall have plans for this hockey team without him. It is very possible they sign UFA Vincent Trocheck to become the second-round centerman, who is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
New York Rangers
The New York Rangers needed a second-line centerman badly, and they were just in the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games. New York does have some talent on its roster like Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox, and Artemi Panarin.
They do have one of the best goalies in the NHL in Igor Shesterkin. Malkin going to New York would be all about the jersey sales, and it would be typical of the New York Rangers to overpay for an old aging caliber player. This is probably the number one destination if it happens.
The Washington Capitals have Evgeny Kuznetsov as their number one centerman next season, but with Nicklas Backstrom out long-term and wondering if he will ever play the sport again, Evgeni Malkin heading down to the Nation’s Capital and the Pittsburgh Penguins rivals is something chaotic.
A tandem of Evgeni Malkin alongside Alex Ovechkin would be something wild. This wouldn’t be the first time that a former player on the Pittsburgh Penguins goes to the Washington Capitals, though. This team makes sense for him.
New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils need to make a splash, and they need to get a veteran inside the locker room to teach the kids. Malkin would not have to play center because of Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier. Evgeni Malkin could either be the third-line centerman, which probably wouldn’t be ideal, or he could be a winger, and it would work because he wouldn’t have as many responsibilities.
The Devils need a player to help them turn the corner, and who else to learn from than a three-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Pittsburgh Penguins? Some New Jersey fans would be very skeptical of this though, because of his laziness and bad penalties, but he has some offensive talent.
The Edmonton Oilers need someone to get them over the top. Yes, they do have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but what if they can’t sign Evander Kane? That money can go to Evgeni Malkin. Edmonton’s number one problem is goaltending through here.
New York Islanders
The New York Islanders could be one of those teams that overpay for Evgeni Malkin. General manager Lou Lamoriello loves older players and doesn’t like much of the younger players. Mathew Barzal could have a very nice linemate or power playmate, but this would spell trouble for them though here.