The Pittsburgh Penguins locked up superstar center Evgeni Malkin on Thursday with an eight-year, $76 million contract extension that makes him the team's highest-paid player.
Eight years is the maximum length for teams to re-signing their own players under terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Malkin reportedly received a $10 million signing bonus.
Malkin's deal, which begins in the 2014-15 season, will keep him in Pittsburgh through the 2021-22 season. It comes nearly a year after team captain and fellow star center Sidney Crosby signed a 12-year, $104.4 million extension.
In terms of average salary, Malkin, 26, will earn $9.5 million per season, while Crosby comes in a $8.7 million. Malkin is also the highest-paid player in the National Hockey League on a per-year basis, behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin.
---NHL commissioner Gary Bettman suggested that the Phoenix Coyotes could see their future decided by the end of the month.
"There is a board of governors meeting on June 27 and a (Glendale) City Council meeting on June 25. Stuff is going to happen," Bettman said during his annual state-of-the-league session with reporters covering the Stanley Cup Final.
Though Bettman didn't put a deadline for a decision, deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the league plans to release a schedule in July, suggesting that the final week of June is key for the franchise that has been league-operated since 2009. After numerous suitors came and went, the NHL agreed last month to sell the team to Renaissance Sports & Entertainment, but the deal is contingent upon a new lease agreement for Jobing.com Arena being reached. Negotiations with Glendale continue to drag.
---Scott Winkler, a 2008 draft pick of the Dallas Stars and four-year player at Colorado College, was found dead at age 23.
He was discovered unresponsive Wednesday night at his parent's home in Norway. The cause of his death hasn't been determined.
Winkler was selected in the third round in 2008, 89th overall. He spent the past four seasons. He finished with 13 goals and 15 assists in 42 games in 2012-13.
---Boston Bruins right winger Nathan Horton is listed as day to day after suffering an injury in the first overtime of the Stanley Cup Finals opener on Wednesday night.
Horton, who plays on the first line, was shoved in front of Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford by defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, bent over in pain and skated to the bench. He didn't return to the game, which Chicago won 4-3 in three overtimes.
Horton had an assist on Boston's first goal in the first period. In 17 playoff games this year, he has seven goals, 18 points and a league-best plus-22 rating.