Evgeni Malkin wanted to know he was staying in Pittsburgh before he left for Russia.
He got that assurance Thursday.

Malkin and the Penguins agreed on an eight-year contract that will pay him $76 million — a cap hit of $9.5 million, highest on the team.

“Very happy,” Malkin said.

The deal was struck late Wednesday night in general manager Ray Shero's office with J.P. Barry, Malkin's agent.

Barry has been in Pittsburgh all week, quietly working on the deal.

Malkin wanted the deal done before he returned to Moscow, where he spends his offseason.
Malkin's entire immediate family — parents Vladimir and Natasha, and brother Denis — were in Pittsburgh for the Stanley Cup playoffs. Malkin wanted to work out the deal while his family was in Pittsburgh, too.

The Penguins wanted a deal with Malkin, 26, done so they could turn to other offseason matters, including a possible new contract with defenseman Kris Letang and winger Pascal Dupuis.