Evgeni Malkin signs four-year extension with Pittsburgh Penguins

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Evgeni Malkin signs four-year extension with Pittsburgh Penguins originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Evgeni Malkin is staying in Pittsburgh after all.

It seemed the veteran forward, who has spent his entire 16-year career with the Penguins, was set to test the market for the first time. But on the eve of free agency, Malkin and the Penguins agreed to a four-year, $24.4 million contract extension.

"Evgeni is a generational talent who will be remembered as one of the greatest players in NHL history," Penguins general manager Ron Hextall said in a statement. "His hockey resume and individual accomplishments speak volumes about him as a player, and we are thrilled to watch him continue his remarkable legacy in Pittsburgh."

The 35-year-old Malkin, who was drafted second overall in 2004 and went on to help the Penguins win three Stanley Cup championships, had 20 goals and 22 assists in 41 games last season.

Career highlights for the seven-time All-Star include having won two Art Ross Trophies as the NHL's regular season scoring leader (2009, 2012), the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP (2012) and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP (2009).

Only Mario Lemieux and Sidney Crosby, who have each spent 17 seasons in Pittsburgh, have played more seasons with the Penguins than Malkin. That run seemed to be in jeopardy with reports last week that Malkin intended to consider his options when the unrestricted free agent market opened at noon ET on Wednesday. 

Instead, he'll remain in Pittsburgh, playing alongside longtime teammates Crosby and Kris Letang, who signed a six-year, $36.6 million deal with the Penguins last week.