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.
"I think it is good," Malkin said. "I like playing with Sidney."
In terms of average salary, Malkin 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.
Malkin, 26, missed time this season with injuries, but still finished with nine goals and 33 points in 31 games. He added four goals and 16 points in 15 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Already a popular superstar, Malkin has two scoring titles, an MVP award, a Stanley Cup, and a Conn Smythe Trophy on his resume, and has been one of the league's stars since arriving in 2006.
Since the start of the 2006-07 season, he is in the top-10 in goals (7th), assists (7th), and total points (6th). His 1.22 point-per-game average is second only to Crosby's 1.45. He's also second in postseason points per game over that stretch (minimum 25 playoff games) at 1.17.
Malkin still sees a bright future for the Penguins.
"We're still young," Malkin said. "We are a group who wins Stanley Cup before and I believe we will win again."
Pittsburgh will now turn their attention to their group of unrestricted free agents, including forwards Pascal Dupuis and Matt Cooke, and defenseman Kris Letang.
"We'll certainly turn our attention to Kris in the next little bit," Penguins general manager Dan Shero said. "He is a key player for us."