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Morning Line- Mark Madden On Evgeni Malkin

Malkin’s deal expires at the end of the 2021-22 season. He is due $9.5 million next year, same as this year. If Malkin continues to play and produce as poorly as he has in the current season’s first 16 games, the Penguins can’t give him a new contract, let alone at his inflated rate.

Allowing Malkin to finish as a career Penguin and preserve his one-team legacy can’t be a concern for a franchise on the cusp of rebuilding. Not when Malkin has just three goals and seven assists in 16 games, is minus-4, is a defensive liability, is dragging down his wingers no matter who they are, and shows little intensity.

He isn’t in a bad patch. Malkin is just bad.

-Mark Madden of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Evgeni Malkin.  Read more on Malkin.

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Did Rutherford get overruled on moving Malkin?
Or was it Letang?

You can’t be in a sustained decline as the team’s top players age
and you keep spending picks to tread water and then say:
But we won’t move Crosby or Malkin or Letang. And think they’ll suddenly all find the fountain of youth and rediscover peak motivation.

Rutherford spent a lot between moving out Kessel for little and spending
number one picks on wingers to try and find the right fit for Malkin.
At a certain point, Malkin is the problem.

Posted by lefty.30 on 02/23/21 at 02:23 PM ET


He tried to move Letang, owner shot it down, so he quit, and I don’t blame him.

Sounds like Hextal and Burke are going all in to win Pittsburg another cup in the next four years while they still have Crosby and I’m curious to see how they make it happen. They need help at every position to take on the likes of Tampa, even Carolina and they barely have any pieces to move.

I wouldn’t mind the Wings eating Malkin’s contract if it gained us another first rounder, but he’s not coming to Detroit, he has a NMC. The rumors are his wife wants him in Florida. Maybe the Panthers pull the trigger?

Posted by Jdunc from Flint, MI on 02/23/21 at 05:16 PM ET

Mr. Fnytelhatt's avatar

Last season, ‘19-20, Malkin had 74 points in 55 games (1.35ppg), 25 of which were goals (0.46gpg). Jussayin’.

He IS 34 years old and of course well into the steadily-diminishing-returns-phase of his career, but the nasty, alarmist tone of that article only serves to make me wonder if that thing I’m starting to smell is not the smell of a tailor-made hatchet job helping the management pave the way for what (yes, the above notwithstanding) is probably the best course forward for Pittsburgh: shipping out Malkin while he still has reasonably high value (and why should he not; it’s not hard to envision another 4 years or so at a point-per-game, with the usual significant deduction for games missed to injury).

Of course, in the modern NHL where being really terrible is significantly better rewarded than mediocrity, and really one of the premier strategial priorities is to minimize the time teams spend in the non-competitive phase of the cycle by tanking as hard as possible, it would be strategically suboptimal to ship out just ONE of Malkin and Crosby. Pittsburgh will be interesting to watch.

Posted by Mr. Fnytelhatt on 02/24/21 at 01:06 PM ET

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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.

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