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Pittsburgh Penguins

Malone’s agent and Shero begin talks on new contract

From Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

After the Game 6 loss to the Detroit Red Wings last week, several of the potential free agents spoke about wanting to remain in Pittsburgh. Malone, who grew up in Upper St. Clair, has some strong feelings about remaining with the Penguins, but it remains to be seen whether he will give them the so-called hometown discount.

“We don’t know what the discount is,” Liut said. “We do our homework and look at possibilities out there, see where opportunities are. But where you’re playing and who you’re playing with is important. When you challenge for the Stanley Cup, it’s hard to get back. It’s tough to win the Stanley Cup. That’s why you play hockey. Right now, he’s a Pittsburgh Penguin. If it gets to July 1, you start to look around. [The hometown discount] plays in, but if July 1 comes around, you have to make decisions.”

Read the entire article here.

Clearly Malone’s agent Mike Liut is going to stress exploring other options after July 1st. That is his job and will almost certainly drive Malone’s price up even more if the Penguins want to re-sign him. Reading into what Liut said in the piece, it seems that the Pens are still sorting out how they want to tackle possible salary cap issues with so many important free agents due up in the next year. Time will tell how they decide to handle the cap issues.