Pittsburgh Penguins middle Evgeni Malkin will miss at the very least the primary two months of the 2021-22 NHL season as he recovers from knee surgical procedure, basic supervisor Ron Hextall introduced on Thursday.
The 35-year-old Malkin is getting into his 16th NHL season and the ultimate yr of an eight-year, $76 million deal he signed in 2013, which pays him $9.5 million yearly. Hextall stated on Thursday that there has not been any progress on a brand new contract extension for Malkin, who would turn out to be an unrestricted free agent in the summertime of 2022.
Malkin was averaging some extent per sport final season earlier than he was injured in a collision with Bruins defenseman Jarred Tinordi on March 16. Malkin missed the ultimate six weeks of the common season and the primary two video games of the playoffs. The middle returned for 4 playoff video games, then underwent knee surgical procedure after the Penguins have been eradicated in June.
Crosby, 34, is beneath contract via 2024-25. He’s anticipated to return prior to Malkin, because the preliminary timetable for his surgical procedure was six weeks, and he was skating on his personal forward of the Penguins’ coaching camp, which opened this week.
“Sid has been skating just about each day,” Hextall stated. “He is not dealing with the puck. He is one-handing the puck. However the whole lot goes properly. He is skating onerous. He is proper on the timeline that we gave, minimal of six weeks.”
The Penguins acquired 36-year-old Jeff Carter from the Kings final season, and he’ll probably be elevated to top-line middle with Crosby and Malkin out.
“We’re up in opposition to it; everyone knows it,” Hextall stated. “We’ll have some guys that may have a possibility to indicate us some issues that they most likely would not in any other case. We’d like some guys to step up. Simply seeing the chemistry of our group final yr, there is a good really feel this yr. I believe everyone knows we’re up in opposition to it. I believe our guys are prepared for the problem.”
Since profitable back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017, the Penguins haven’t made it previous the second spherical of the playoffs. Pittsburgh was eradicated by the New York Islanders in six video games within the first spherical final season.
Malkin has scored 424 objectives and 680 assists in 940 profession video games, all with Pittsburgh.