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Dallas Stars Daily Links: Malkin Signs 8 Year Deal in Pittsburgh

Any hopes NHL fans had of their team stealing Sidney Crosby's second fiddle were dashed, as Evgeni Malkin agrees to massive extension.

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Jamie Sabau

Bloggers and tweeters all over the hockey world were incredibly excited to see rumors circulating about the Penguins and their future salary cap structure, especially in regards to phenomenal center Evgeni Malkin, who was due to hit unrestricted free agency in two years. The market was seemingly set, with teams willing to pay Malkin much more than the Penguins are paying Sidney Crosby.

Not sure why everyone assumed the Penguins would never go over that $8.7 million per year mark, out of respect for Crosby and his assumed desire to be the highest paid Penguin... but that's a moot point now, as Malkin agreed to an 8 year contract, that will pay him an average salary of $9.5 million per year.

This means the Penguins will continue to have arguably the two best players in the game for the entirety of their primes, and beyond... but with over 18 million being paid to only two players, will they be able to put pieces in place to remain a superpower in the Eastern Conference? Only time will tell... but if you're going to have that much money tied up in only two people, that's a good two to start with. [NHL]

The Phoenix Coyotes saga has the people of Seattle on the edge of their seat. Yes, they are all desperate for the return of their beloved Super Sonics of basketball, but Wednesday's thrilling Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals has renewed their interest in an NHL franchise as well. [The News Tribune]

Seattle isn't the only city that's buzzing about these Stanley Cup Finals. Game One was the highest rated Stanley Cup Finals game one since 1997, with a 119% increase over last season's opener between the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils. [USA Today]

I don't have the exact numbers, but I think Seattle might not have been a driving factor behind those national ratings. Apparently, despite The News Tribune's interest in the sport, Game One wasn't even picked up by their local NBC affiliate for broadcast on their main network. It was pushed to a secondary sister station, in favor of local news and Inside Edition. [Twitter]

While some in Seattle are trying to build a groundswell of support for the game, the same can be said for the established NHL market of Sunrise, Florida. You looking for the best value in professional sports? How about a season ticket package for only $7 per game? It also comes with a free jersey, free parking, four free concerts, and more. Wow. [Kukla's Korner]

While Patrick Kane is making headlines in the Stanley Cup Finals with the Chicago Blackhawks, Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets is once again making headlines on Twitter for controversial tweets. The same man who got into hot water for his pictures on Twitter during the lockout (dolla dolla bills, ya'll) has now been convinced to apologize for his homophobic slur in regards to the NBA Finals. [Canoe]

The New York Rangers are closing in on Alain Vigneault as their next head coach, but Mark Messier remains in the mix. Now he's said that if he gets the job, he is bringing former teammate Brian Leetch with him. Package deal. If this trend keeps up, I will just start referring to my cartridge of NHL 96 on Sega Genesis if anyone asks me any questions about NHL management teams. [NY Post]

Here is something we can all relate to. How often have you set a program to record on your DVR, only to have it start late or end early, leaving you with an incomplete episode? This guy thought he had that beat, when he set his DVR to record Game One of the Stanley Cup Finals, with two added hours of padding after the time slot ended. The only problem? The game winning goal was scored two hours and SIX SECONDS after the program was scheduled to end. Ouch. [Reddit]

Today's video is probably the most mind numbing one I've ever posted on Defending Big D, but it has it's entertainment value if you stick with it until the end. This bright young lady decides to look over the rosters of the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins, and rate them on a scale of hotness. It reminded me of when my sister used to flip through game programs, and critique the players in a very similar manner. Heck, she did the same thing with high school yearbooks too.