Just because the Pittsburgh Penguins handed Evgeni Malkin an eight year contract extension this week doesn't mean GM Ray Shero won't also be willing to commit big money to Norris trophy finalist Kris Letang.
Shero knows top end defensemen don't grow on trees. Question is, with Malkin and Sidney Crosby on the books, will Letang be willing to take slightly less money per season to stay in the Steel City in exchange for the extra year the Pens can offer under terms of the NHL's new collective bargaining agreement? Craig Custance breaks Letang's decision down:
"... As a free agent, the starting point would be $7-8 million per season at max length. To stay in Pittsburgh, it may have to be an eight-year deal closer to $6.5 million. Letang understands that the best deal will come on the open market; it's just finding out how big the difference is going to be. Those are conversations the two sides still need to have. And executives around the league will be watching closely. The feeling from those I spoke with on Thursday is that Letang will sign an extension with Pittsburgh ..."