The Penguins are expected to announce a new deal with Hart Trophy finalist Evgeni Malkin soon, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The paper said the deal will pay Malkin about $8.5M per season over five years, beginning with the 2009-10 season.

Malkin is willing to take less than market value to remain with the Penguins, according to a previous report by the Post-Gazette.

"Evgeni understands that some players will not stay for many reasons," Malkin's agent, J.P. Barry, previously told the Post-Gazette. "He simply hopes that his approach helps the team either re-sign existing players or bring in new players so they can be one of the best teams in the league.

"We have provided Ray [Shero, the Penguins GM] our proposal and I will continue to speak with him this week as he works at putting together the best team possible, given salary-cap constraints."

The Toronto Star reported that several teams in the Russian league are prepared to offer Malkin a huge contract.

A high-ranking executive with the Russian league told the Star that a $12.5M per year, tax-free, multi-year offer "is not crazy," but "it's on the edge of crazy."

The International Ice Hockey Federation issued a statement Friday morning in response to the Star's report.

"Although there will be no imminent Player Transfer Agreement between the IIHF and the NHL, all involved parties are in principal agreement to honor each other's contracts," IIHF president René Fasel said. "We would view any signing, from either side, of a player under a valid contract, who does not have any legally valid out-clause, to be a clear violation of the mutual understanding and existing principle. Given this, we are confident that the report is not substantiated."