Pending free agents Malkin, Letang hope to stay with Pens

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71)

PITTSBURGH — Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are hopeful they can stay with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The longtime franchise stars will become free agents for the first time in their careers in July.

Malkin says he would prefer to keep playing with captain Sidney Crosby but added he would understand if the team wants to bring in fresh blood.

Letang is coming off one of his best seasons and could command a significant raise in free agency.