Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/07/06 at 11:33 AM ET
Russia's teenage prodigy Evgeni Malkin will not play in the National Hockey League (NHL) this season after agreeing a new contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Metallurg said that Malkin, the Pittsburgh Penguins' number one pick in 2004, had annulled his previous contract with the Russian Superleague club, which would have kept him in Magnitogorsk through April 2008. Instead, he has agreed a new one-year deal after which he will become a free agent. Malkin, who has never played for Pittsburgh, had stated his desire to join the NHL this year, saying he wanted to prove himself at a higher level. His agent said that the Russian, who turned 20 last week, had even signed an entry-level contract with the Penguins. But Metallurg said that after meeting club president Viktor Rashnikov Malkin had changed his mind.continued update 1:20pm, via the CP,
The 20-year-old phenom cancelled the remaining two years of his contract with Russian super club Metallurg Magnitogorsk in favour of a one-year deal, the team reported Monday on its website. Malkin reportedly met with team officials late into Sunday night to finalize the deal, which will allow him to become a free agent in 2007. He could then sign with the Penguins, who made him the second overall choice in the 2004 draft but have been unable to bring him over to North America.
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