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When it Doesn’t Make Sense… It Doesn’t Make Sense


Ah, the summertime… bikinis, baseball, hot dogs, humidity, high temps, vacations and ABSURD trade rumors. I realize that the probability of an absurd trade rumor making the rounds is much higher during the months between the start of unrestricted free agency and the opening of training camps, but sometimes I have just got to shake my head and tell you that something isn’t going to happen.

The interesting thing about the rumors that have actually prompted me to sit down and write a blog contradicting them is that they seemingly always revolve around Evgeni Malkin.



It started a few years ago when I had to shoot down talk of Malkin to Atlanta for Ilya Kovalchuk. It just wasn’t going to happen and not surprisingly it didn’t.

It didn’t make sense.

As most of us have seen over at the Penguins official site, Malkin is currently in Russia training with Penguins’ strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar. All is going according to plan and head coach Dan Bylsma is anxious to get his “1B” back in the fold and onto a line with Jordan Staal – at least for a period of experimentation.

It is also worth noting that most that I have talked to say that he has a chip on his shoulder and would like to explode back on to the scene in a huge way this season. Geno Machino knows that he has work to do to get back into the “best player in the league” conversation and he used his knee rehabilitation as motivation to get there.

All of which is why it makes absolutely ZERO sense for the Penguins to entertain trading Malkin right now, especially to a team like the Los Angeles Kings. Though the Kings have long been a popular destination for the rumormongers to speculate about, it makes no sense for the Birds and heading into this season it barely adds up for the Kings.

Sure… a couple of years ago the Kings would have loved to graft Malkin onto their depth chart, but today? I can’t see a fit. Especially when the rumored return would be Drew Doughty!

The Kings already have Anze Kopitar, the newly acquired Mike Richards, and the steady Jarret Stoll on board. Why on earth would they trade their marquee blue liner to acquire another center, especially one that could potentially knock Mike Richards into a third line role? Mike Richards isn’t Jordan Staal…he isn’t in LA to be a defensive player. Sure he will kill penalties and everything that you are used to seeing him do, but he is there to play in the top six.
A Malkin inquiry would have gone on before Richards was acquired.

Now onto the other side of the deal… yes, every team in the league could use a Drew Doughty, but not one that already has $16,250,000 dollars per year, over the next three, tied up in its blue line. The Penguins are locked and loaded on defense for the foreseeable future.

If you want to spark this talk three years from now, then maybe we can at least speculate, but not today. The Birds aren’t going to push Paul Martin or Zbynek Michalek into the 5 or 6 slot to acquire a defenseman that would likely become one the team’s highest paid players. The cap doesn’t allow teams to have that luxury.

I know that it is a crazy for me to suggest logic come into play when talking hockey trades, but sometimes it is all you need to realize that something just doesn’t smell right. You can temper this stuff with all of the “it’s just speculation” disclaimers that you like, but even suggesting such a move when it doesn’t work fiscally or depth chart-wise is just irresponsible.

Last but not least… Drew Doughty and Sidney Crosby may be friends based on their time with Team Canada, but everyone in the Burgh knows that it is Jack Johnson who is Crosby’s BFF…

Unfortunately we can only long for those simpler times that were filled with incessant Johnson to Pittsburgh talk!

More later…

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



I was hoping you’d post something about this.  What utter garbage that rumor is.  The funny thing is, after I went over there to read it, I found like 6 pages of people actually discussing it.  Oh lord….

Posted by Heath from Pittsburgh, PA on 07/28/11 at 05:32 PM ET

brianmetzer's avatar

You know I had to say or do something…. as I said in the post, it always seems to be a Geno rumor that gets me going! It just doesn’t make sense… the bodies on each team just do not add up!


Posted by brianmetzer on 07/28/11 at 05:45 PM ET

OneSmugPug's avatar

Wait a second… what about the “Sid is best friends with Jack Johnson” reasoning to send Malkin to LA?

Posted by OneSmugPug on 07/28/11 at 05:46 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

The rumors do seem to be quite ridiculous, but I don’t think so based on the we’ve got centers/Richards situation in LA.  It is obvious that Anze Kopitar is a genuine #1 center and Mike Richards a more than capable #2.  But Malkin could be traded and not employed as a center (i.e. he’s played LW like most Russians).  I think it would be the fact there really isn’t anything the Pens would receive that LA would be willing to give up (i.e. Doughty).  There is also doubt that LA would pushed itself against the cap when it has relatively been in the middle with regards to the ceiling/floor.

Malkin himself is an interesting player.  He’s obviously talented and one of the top forwards in the league.  Problem is, and I know there are some Pen fans that will vehemently oppose this assertion, he is a typical enigmatic Russian.  He’s streaky and his efforts are very inconsistent.  One night he’ll post a goal and three assists and the next he’s negative with no points and a ton of bad penalties.  He’s on fire one month and dead the next.  In other words, he’s sometimes lazy.  I know because I’ve had him on my fantasy teams a couple times.  The Conn Smyth performance is demonstrative of this.  Malkin’s heights and then there’s the nights off.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 07/28/11 at 05:47 PM ET


For those just starting to read Metz over here at his new home, you should be clued in to two things that always make his blood pressure rise (in different ways):

1. Crazy Malkin rumors

2. Morozov jiggling his crest

Posted by Heath from Pittsburgh, PA on 07/28/11 at 05:51 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

UMMM NO !! he is not a LW or RW He is a C & when healthy a Damn great one

Posted by Evilpens on 07/28/11 at 05:53 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

UMMM NO !! he is not a LW or RW He is a C & when healthy a Damn great one

Posted by Evilpens on 07/28/11 at 03:53 PM ET

I said he’s played LW, not he is a LW.  I understand he normally plays center, but he can play LW (whether he plays best as a winger is a question for another day).  You need to relax.

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 07/28/11 at 05:55 PM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

You need to relax.

EvilPens relax??? lol

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 07/28/11 at 05:59 PM ET

OneSmugPug's avatar

goes to grab popcorn and a cherry koolaid for this show

Posted by OneSmugPug on 07/28/11 at 06:00 PM ET

brianmetzer's avatar

I could definitely see Geno fitting in LA in some capacity, but it is doubtful that they would be trading for him as a wing… IMO anyway. Sure is capable, but his biggest successes have come at center. When he is going and on his game, he is a beast! Unfortunately we haven’t seen that in quite some time.

His game is most effective when he has a healthy lower body and he can generate speed through the neutral zone… or as I like to say… Galloping through the neutral zone!

The wild thing with Geno is that they really don’t hold him to any one responsibility. He is one of the only guys on the Penguins roster (aside from Sid, though 87 is very responsible) who is allowed to ad lib at will. He can shift position to position etc and when he is scoring no one cares… when he isn’t he looks aloof and uncaring.

The bottom line is that Doughty/Malkin could help just about any team in the league. I just don’t see this being a fit… money, bodies etc just don’t add up.

Geno may one day be traded, but we are probably a few years away from that… his value isn’t anywhere near where it could or should be after last year.


Posted by brianmetzer on 07/28/11 at 06:02 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

SnLO I am always relaxed ! Even in this ridiculous weather we are stuck in !  grin

Posted by Evilpens on 07/28/11 at 07:22 PM ET


Malkin for Doughty straight up would make no sense.  Malkin and Letang for Kopitar and Doughty?  Then it would make sense for both teams from a positional standpoint.  That being said, I don’t see why either team would try to do such a roster turnover at this point.

Posted by Luigi from Vancouver on 07/28/11 at 08:03 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

Wow, I didn’t hear about this one. Any idea where this rumour originated from? Or is it just some Twiiter fodder amoung fans because Doughty’s an RFA ?

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 07/28/11 at 08:36 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

EvilPens relax??? lol

When the KK “blocking” feature is finally instituted, we can all relax knowing that EvilPens is the only one who will ever see his posts appear in anyone’s blog. smile

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 07/28/11 at 09:14 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Lindas1st   Ektard

Posted by Evilpens on 07/28/11 at 09:59 PM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

But of course, who else, I should’ve known that.
Thanx Evil.
Wow, things are really changing around KK. OTC’s even commenting on a Pens’ blog. Nice to see. smile

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 07/28/11 at 10:32 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

np Lindas1st & OTC stalks me everywhere I go on KK’s

Posted by Evilpens on 07/28/11 at 11:27 PM ET


These Malkin rumors are a lot dumber than they used to be (and they used to be pretty dumb).

I would have been open to the possibility (not likelihood, possibility) that Malkin, if he didn’t regain his art ross form, would have been quietly shopped this summer if you’d asked me last year, but last year Crosby didn’t have any injuries that had a history of sometimes shortening careers.

Kadar’s over in Russia this summer because David Steckel married Pittsburgh to Gino Malkin on Jan 1.

Besides, the only glaring organizational NHL need is 3rd pairing left D, and there will be four guys who are all either NHL-ready or NHL-never fighting over it in camp.

Posted by steviesteve on 07/28/11 at 11:49 PM ET

Moq's avatar

Reminds me of a Danish NHL blogger using several paragraphs analysing the Malkin for Stamkos rumour.

Various trade rumours provide entertainment for the offseason, but mostly a tremendous waste of time and thought if taken seriously.

Posted by Moq from Denmark on 07/29/11 at 11:35 AM 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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