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Longtime Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin to test free agency

May 13, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) takes the ice against the New York Rangers during the first period in game six of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Evgeni Malkin will not re-sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins before free agency begins Wednesday, instead opting to test free agency for the first time in his career, TSN and The Athletic reported Monday.

Malkin, 35, has spent his entire 16-year NHL career in Pittsburgh along with fellow star Sidney Crosby.

The Athletic previously reported that Malkin was unsure that the Penguins still wanted to bring him back due to the slow development of his contract negotiations.

The No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 NHL Draft, Malkin has won three Stanley Cups with the Penguins and is a seven-time All-Star. He won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player in 2011-12, as well as the 2009 Conn Smythe Trophy (Stanley Cup playoffs MVP).

In 981 career games, Malkin has totaled 1,146 points (444 goals, 702 assists) while primarily centering Pittsburgh’s second forward line behind Crosby. He led the NHL in points twice: 2008-09 (113 points) and 2011-12 (109).

Malkin missed much of the past two seasons due to a right knee injury that required offseason surgery. In 41 games in 2021-22, he averaged just more than a point per game (20 goals, 22 assists).

–Field Level Media