After an early first-round exit from the playoffs and with free agency approaching, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sydney Crosby told reporters Tuesday he "definitely" plans to play three more years.
During a season-ending press conference after the Pens were eliminated in a wild three-game comeback by the New York Rangers, Crosby, 34, said his goal is to play three more years, fulfilling the 12-year, $104.4 million contract he signed in 2012. He hopes to do so with two of Pittsburgh's top playmakers.
"Three, for sure — and then we'll see after that. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself," Crosby said. "Three, definitely. I'm glad [Evgeni Malkin] said three and [Kris Letang] said five-plus probably. Not surprised at either of those answers."
Malkin and Letang, who helped the Penguins win three Stanley Cup championships, could become free agents for the first time in July.
According to The Athletic’s Rob Rossi, Malkin received an offer for around $5 million a year for the next three to four years but turned it down. Malkin said Tuesday that while he hopes to retire in Pittsburgh, "I know my price."
"I’m ready to go away," Malkin said. "If I stay, so much (happier). If not, it’s OK. (I'll) move my family to another city and hopefully play my best hockey."
Letang, fresh off one of his best seasons, has kept contract negotiations out of the public sphere after promising general manager Ron Hextall to keep their conversations private. He also made it clear that his hope is to stay as well.
"I certainly (tried) to help build something good here and obviously want to keep it going," Letang said, later adding "it’s a special group, a group that can win anything."
Crosby said while he hopes the three continue on together, he understands nothing lasts forever.
"We've been fortunate enough to play together for a long time, we've been through a lot. I think when you look at all those experiences, there's a lot of belief, a lot of trust in one another. And with that, we've had success too," Crosby said. "That being said, we understand that it's not something that can happen forever. But, hopefully, a little bit longer. Hopefully, we continue to play together."
Malkin and Letang signed eight-year contracts in 2013, avoiding free agency and are no doubt hoping to do the same this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.