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Report: Evgeni Malkin expected to hit open market

Joe Sargent / National Hockey League / Getty

Pittsburgh Penguins veteran Evgeni Malkin is reportedly expected to hit the open market when free agency begins Wednesday, July 13, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

Malkin, who's spent his entire 981-game NHL career with the Penguins, has never tested free agency before and reportedly wants to explore his options. He just played out the final season of an eight-year deal with a $9.5-million cap hit.

As negotiations with Pittsburgh grew tense, the 35-year-old reportedly texted some of his teammates that the Penguins think he's "not good anymore."

Malkin missed the first half of the 2021-22 campaign after recovering from knee surgery but still enjoyed a productive season. He logged 20 goals and 21 assists in 41 contests, which was slightly below his career point-per-game clip of 1.17.

Malkin won three Stanley Cup championships with the Penguins and ranks third on the franchise's all-time points list with 1,146. He trails only Sidney Crosby for most playoff points in team history, with 180 in 177 career contests.

The icon also collected a Conn Smythe Trophy, a Hart Trophy, a Ted Lindsay Award, two Art Ross Trophies, and a Calder Trophy in his 16-year career.

The Penguins recently inked longtime defenseman Kris Letang to a six-year deal with a cap hit of $6.1 million.

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