Rick Dhaliwal: Pittsburgh Penguins pending UFA Evgeni Malkin’s agent, JP Barry: “They have a lot of players to sign and are up against the cap. Right now it is 50-50.”

Josh Yohe of The Athletic: Have talked to numerous agents, and some people within the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, who believe that pending UFA forward Evgeni Malkin won’t be returning to the Penguins.

Sources say the sides haven’t spoken regularly since their initial talks when the season ended. Things can obviously change quickly.

Malkin will need to take a pay cut to return to Pittsburgh and he’s already said he’s willing to, but how much of a cut would he take?

Hextall is known as a tough negotiator for not wanting to give the money and term that players may be seeking. He doesn’t want to handcuff the Penguins whenever the rebuild is ready to begin.

The Penguins want to re-sign defenseman Kris Letang. If they lose him, they know they don’t have anyone to replace him, and if they brought in a free agent like John Klingberg, they’d have to overpay.

Letang is wanting a five-year deal between $8 and $9 million, and the Penguins offered three.

To make room for Pierre-Olivier Joseph the Penguins could trade one of Brian Dumoulin, Marcus Pettersson (preferred) or John Marino.

Seems unlikely that the Penguins will sign goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and don’t think Casey DeSmith will be back.

If Malkin doesn’t return, pending UFA Vincent Trocheck could be an option. He’s from the area. J.T. Miller is also from the area. Trocheck could be looking for $6 to $6.5 million a season.