Penguins lock up Evgeni Malkin, Brooks Orpik
Eastern Conference champs have Russian star, Crosby on board through 2013
The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Russian forward Evgeni Malkin to a five-year contract extension worth $43.5 million US on Wednesday.
Malkin, who turns 22 later this month, is entering the final year of his rookie contract with the Penguins. The new deal kicks in following the upcoming NHL season.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby signed a similar contract extension last summer, which means Pittsburgh has tied up two of the NHL's brightest stars through 2013.
"We are very excited to have Evgeni signed to a long-term contract," said Penguins general manager Ray Shero.
"This is an important signing … and we commend Evgeni on his commitment to the future of the franchise and the city. This signing continues to ensure the young core of this team can stay intact for years to come."
A first-round pick (second overall) in the 2004 NHL draft, Malkin followed up his Calder Trophy-winning rookie campaign by scoring 47 goals and 106 points this past season.
He added 10 goals and 22 points in 20 playoff games, as the Penguins lost to the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup final.
Malkin finished runner-up to fellow Russian Alex Ovechkin in voting for the Hart Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player.
Later Wednesday the club also announced they had locked up defenceman Brooks Orpik to a six-year contract. Sources say the deal could be worth up to $22.5 million US.
Orpik, 27, turned heads in the post-season by leading the league in hits (102) and blocked shots (61) while averaging over 20 minutes in ice time.
"Brooks has become a mainstay of our blue-line and played an important role in our run to the Stanley Cup final," Shero said.
"He provides the kind of physical presence you need on a cup contender, and his work ethic, preparation and determination are second to none."
With files from Canadian Press