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Finding A Winger For Evgeni Malkin

from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Whether it's unhappiness or frustration from a season that fell short of lofty expectations, the Penguins are committed to ensuring neither is applicable to Evgeni Malkin in 2015-16.

The NHL Draft is in seven days. Few expect general manager Jim Rutherford to stand pat. Instead, look for at least one significant move while the Penguins consider this question: How can they get the most out of Malkin?

Rutherford has acknowledged he will prioritize finding Malkin a regular winger. He's also open to the idea that it could be a Russian player, a luxury not afforded to Malkin in the past.

Meanwhile, the Penguins must decide what to do about Malkin's former landlord, Sergei Gonchar, who will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

The Penguins are not unhappy with Malkin, nor should they be viewed as catering to him. It's Business 101. They want to maximize production from an incredibly valuable asset.

How they can accomplish this has several layers:

• For the sake of argument, let's say Malkin was unhappy at the end of the season. The problem here would be?

Failing to win or score at the most crucial point of an injury-marred season would anger most hockey players. The same goes for sharing shifts with Andrew Ebbett, Mark Arcobello and Rob Klinkhammer because you don't have an adequate, or regular, running mate.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: evgeni+malkin

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com