Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: evgeni malkin
from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
The injury keeping Evgeni Malkin out this preseason is one the franchise center suffered in the United States — not Russia — according to Penguins coach Mike Johnston.
And with four scheduled practices left before the Penguins' first regular-season game Oct. 9, Malkin doesn't have a lot of time left to prepare....
On Thursday, Sept. 18, the day before the first camp practice, Johnston said he expected Malkin's absence from an undisclosed injury to be “fairly short.”
Johnston said a week later that no additional tests or evaluation had been required; they're simply “waiting it out.”
On Friday, Johnston amended the original timetable, setting it another four to five days.
It has now been five days since that point, and Malkin is showing no signs of a return.
read on plus more on the Penguins...
Watch the incident below...
The CBC's Elliotte Friedman just posted his "30 Thoughts" column, and after wondering how the Penguins will be able to keep all of their unrestricted free agents-to-be, even with the rising cap (they won't be able to do so--a trade will be necessary or people will walk), he offers more than a few intriguing observations. Among them:
1. Just for comparison: the 2012-13 cap was $70.2 million, similar to what we're expecting next season. Chicago won with its top-three salaried players (Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews) taking 26 per cent. Kane and Toews can be extended this summer, with the new deals beginning in 2015-16. That percentage is going to go up, but by how much? They took almost $5 million less than Crosby/Malkin per season on their second deals, critical to their second Stanley Cup (and maybe more). Western Conference opponents are expecting to deal with them for eight additional years. "I hope [their salary number] starts with a nine," one rival exec laughed.
Filed in: | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: anaheim+ducks, chris+osgood, dale+weise, detroit+red+wings, evgeni+malkin, john+gibson, jonathan+toews, mario+lemieux, mike+babcock, milan+lucic, patrick+kane, pittsburgh+penguins, ray+shero, sidney+crosby
Well this took five minutes...Per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Rossi, the Penguins may or may not clear the coaching and managerial decks after yet another playoff failure:
Penguins ownership will consider a sweeping overhaul that could include terminating general manager Ray Shero in addition to Dan Bylsma and the members of the coaching staff, multiple sources told the Tribune-Review. Ownership specifically is concerned about a perceived lack of accountability for players, overall team toughness and unproductive drafts, the sources said.
The sources also said Penguins ownership might not want to undergo a complete front-office shakeup with only about a month before the NHL Entry Draft.
No decisions have been made, and they will not be rushed, the sources said.
George here on the late shift. I'm getting ready to wake up a little bit early to watch Wings players take part in the World Championships, which begin on Friday. The European press tends to look at the NHL playoffs from a rather Machiavellian perspective--sometimes actively rooting against the teams whose players include important national team contributors--and as such, I had one thought as Evgeni Malkin's 1-0 goal slithered past a goaltender who's more or less been left to his devices in Henrik Lunqvist:
"[Team Sweden coach and GM] Par Marts must be watching this game thinking, 'I can get Henke to Minsk by Sunday!'"
The Penguins defeated Lundqvist's Rangers 4-2, taking a 3-games-to-none series lead, and while the Penguins lost Brooks Orpik's services, the Rangers' combination of struggling stars on offense and a sometimes-shaky defense reminds me of--dare I say it?--the Wings-Bruins series.
Russian hockey star Evgeni Malkin has told R-Sport that he reassured his Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Sidney Crosby the Sochi Olympics will be safe..
Some sports stars have expressed concern over security at the February 7-23 Games after 32 people were killed last month in two bomb attacks in the nearby city of Volgograd.
"He's definitely a bit wary about the Olympics due to the events that happened, due to the explosions in Volgograd, and in Chechnya there are always blasts," Malkin told R-Sport on Thursday, referring to Crosby.
"That's the question that worries them (NHL players) the most: Will it be safe in Sochi or not? But other than that, everyone's burning to get to Russia, to play the Olympics, although they're worried about security. But I've told them that everything will be OK, that they shouldn't worry," he said.
The host city and Olympic venues are surrounded with various stringent security measures aimed at preventing disruption and terrorist attacks in a city located near Russia's restive North Caucasus provinces.
Early in the 3rd period and no update from the Penguins.
Malkin gets for Delay of Game, Equipment Violation.
from Dejan Kovacevici of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
You know the numbers: Malkin has three goals in 21 games, none in his past 14 games for the longest such slump of his career. There's no question he's still done good things, not least of which are the 17 assists that rank fourth in the NHL. But it remains beyond reason, beyond justification that a scorer of this caliber could go more than a month without so much as a cheesy empty-netter.
He knows it, too.
“I'm happy, of course, when the team wins and when I can make a pass to Gibby for a goal,” Malkin continued in our talk. “But I know I have to score. I know I have to shoot more.”
“Sometimes, like in this game, I see Kuny or Nealer and want to pass to them because they're open,” he said, referring to Chris Kunitz and James Neal, “but I know I have good chances to shoot the puck.”
Right down the high slot, too, I interjected. Twice on Monday between the Ducks' hash marks, countless times over the season.
“Yes, I know. And I know I have to shoot.”
At least that much appears to be clear.
from Mike Brehm of USA TODAY,
He hasn’t scored since Oct. 17
That’s 13 games without a goal, a career-worst slump.
With three goals, he’s on pace for a career-worst 13 goals. His career worst for a non-lockout season was 15 goals in 2010-11, where he was limited to 43 games by injury.
He has a career-worst 5.7% shootout percentage
He has finished below 10% twice in his career, and those were seasons when he was dealing with injuries.
He has been a minus player in eight games
That includes minus 3 twice. Last season, in 31 games, he was a minus player nine times. He has finished the season as a minus player twice before and his worst was minus 6. He’s a minus 8 now.
from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,
Where it gets interesting is when Papa Malkin says that another team, the Dallas Stars, offered his son a contract.
“You know, Dallas offered him a greater deal than the Pittsburgh. And he said, ‘No, I do not want to go there.’ The Stars had signed Sergei Gonchar. His best friend is out there playing. Why not agree?
“And Geno said he wasn’t torn about not going to Dallas. He didn’t want to change houses. ‘I’m used to Pittsburgh, the city and the team,’ he said.”
Now the thing is, this has to be some kind of misunderstanding. Malkin is currently under contract with the Penguins, and the eight-year, $76 million extension he signed this summer kicks in after next season. So there wasn’t a window during which the Stars could legally have talked to Malkin, let alone offered him a contract.
added 10:55am, from Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
I have calls into the Stars and the NHL, and expect some type of response today
The guess is the Stars have had no contact with Malkin or his agent, and this is just a misunderstanding with Malkin’s father. But the NHL takes tampering seriously, and will probably at least make a few phone calls to see what happened.
read on for the interview with Malkin's father...
added 3:54pm, via Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News,
“A lot can happen, but as long as I feel comfortable in America I might as well leave well enough alone. I’ve won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins, I’ve got individual awards, I get a lot of playing time, I have an excellent relationship with my teammates and coaches."
“Why would I look for something else? I have everything.”
Evgeni Malkin on playing in the KHL. A bit more from Malkin on Kovalchuk at RIA NOVOSTI.
In a paid subsciption, Craig Custance of ESPN discusses the possibility of paying and/or moving Malkin.
I've tried to post the most important part here...
Evgeni Malkin, who was arguably the Penguins' best player in Game 3, is entering the final year of his contract that pays him $8.7 million next season. He can sign an extension in July, and those negotiations will be fascinating because he'll become the biggest star to work out a new deal under the restrictions of the CBA.
Pittsburgh can't drive down the annual salary cap hit with extra years on the end of the contract because of the new rules regarding contract length under the new CBA. The longest Malkin can sign with the Penguins is eight years, and that option drops to seven years if Malkin hits the market in 2014. According to Article 50.6 of the new CBA, the yearly salary of a player can't exceed 20 percent of the upper limit at the time the standard player contract is signed. So that's $14 million under the current salary cap of $70.2 million and $12.86 million when it drops to $64.3 million next year.
Malkin may be the first player to test those limits. He's a franchise center who is still just 26 years old. He also has the threat, if he doesn't get a deal to his liking from the Penguins, of playing in the KHL, a league that doesn't have the same restrictions on salaries for its stars the NHL has. An annual salary in the $15 million range is something Malkin could demand in the KHL.
If he hit the open market next summer, he'd be the best free agent in years. Better than Zach Parise, Brad Richards, Ilya Kovalchuk or Ryan Suter -- all players who landed huge contracts in free agency.
There's no reason to expect he deserves anything less than what Crosby got last year when Crosby signed a 12-year contract extension worth $104.4 million. The problem is, the contract is capped at eight years, which would work out to $13 million per season if the total dollar amount is the same.
Some talk late last night and this morning about this scrum at the end of the game. It's playoff hockey, nothing out of the ordinary about this.
Evgeni Malkin and Travis Hamonic did receive 5 for fighting, but I don't see anything that would deserve further discipline, but that is just my opinion.
Numerous reports flowing in via Twitter that Malkin will miss tonight's game in Florida due to a serious sunburn.
How did he get hurt last night?
from the Pittsburgh Penguins website,
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin returned to team practice Sunday afternoon at Southpointe, a positive step in his recovery from a diagnosed concussion.
“I feel pretty good, had a good practice on the ice,” said Malkin, who has been cleared for contact in practice. “I skated with the team and used a little contact. I feel good.”
While it is a positive step in his recovery, there is no timetable for a possible return to game action and the team is proceeding with caution.
“It was a good practice, but I need a couple more (before I play),” Malkin said.
from George Richards of On Frozen Pond at the Miami Herald,
Despite having time to cool off, it was obvious Dineen was still fuming afterward.
Dineen was upset for Kopecky being flagged for what Pittsburgh's Chris Kunitz wasn't when he jabbed the puck past Jacob Markstrom in the second. Kopecky was trying to get a puck past Fleury -- just as Kunitz did to put the Pens on the board.
Dineen was also mad there was no call when James Neal jumped Erik Gudbranson after he checked Evgeni Malkin at the end of the ice. Malkin fell and slammed his head into the boards and stayed face-down on the ice for a few scary moments. Gudbranson wasn't penalized for what looked like a clean hit.
"It's frustrating, certainly when the game was decided on the tempo and that penalty was big at the end,'' Dineen said, "especially since there was a non-call for us when a guy attacks Gudbranson after a clean hit. And then they score a goal when they whack at our goalie three times.
"Our guy goes down and he doesn't blow the whistle. It's a tough one to take, but that's the nature of it. You have to understand where your place is and just go out and play the game.''
As for Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins will probably have a better idea about his health status later today. You can watch the Malkin indicent below...
Both Evgeni Malkin and Marc Staal received 2 minutes for roughing after this scrum last night.
from Frank Seravalli of Frequent Flyers,
Defenseman Nick Grossmann missed Thursday’s practice.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said that Grossmann suffered an “upper-body” injury in Game 4 against Pittsburgh. He is officially listed as “day-to-day.”
Grossmann left the game in the second period after taking an elbow to the head from Evgeni Malkin. NBC 10’s Howard Eskin is reporting Grossmann suffered a concussion. The Flyers had no comment on the report.
more on the Flyers and you can watch the hit from Malkin on Grossman below…
First time to the 50 mark for Malkin.
Pens lead Flyers 4-2 after two periods.
Malkin received 2 for boarding, the NBC crew calls it a dangerous hit.
What do you think?
He’ll do the rest…
Today against Tampa Bay, three goals and an assist.
Watch one of the three goals…
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
Evgeni Malkin’s dominance absent Sidney Crosby’s presence in Pittsburgh is reminiscent of the way Sergei Fedorov would take command in Detroit whenever Steve Yzerman was sidelined.
Malkin, meanwhile, continues to be the league’s sneakiest dirtiest player, enabled by officials who continue to allow him to go scot-free for plays such as the one midway through the first period of the match at the Garden on Thursday where he low-bridged Brian Boyle to avoid a check and in doing so sent the Ranger up and over.
It was an act distinct from the one that got Brad Marchand suspended for going low on Vancouver’s Sami Salo only by speed, distance and the absence of league discipline.
read on for escrow talk…
from Damian Cristodero tweets,
Lightning’s Lecavalier left arena without talking to reporters. Coach Boucher said he believes Lecavalier thought Malkin went for his knees
Malkin told Pittsburgh reporters he was ducking to protect himself from a check.. “I wanted to save myself,” Malkin said.
Near the end of the video below, you will see Malkin ducking on a check from Lecavalier.
from Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
It was only a preseason game, but Evgeni Malkin’s performance Wednesday night may indicate a huge season awaits the Penguins’ star center.
In his first game since tearing his right ACL in February, Malkin paved the way to a 3-2 win over Detroit in the exhibition opener at Consol Energy Center. Showing bursts of speed that have been evident during training camp, Malkin scored a beautiful goal and set up another in 20 minutes, 51 seconds of ice time.
“He was at a dominant level,” coach Dan Bylsma said.
Malkin forced four turnovers during an inspired first period.
“Even though it was just an exhibition game,” he said, “it was good.”
more on the game…
Those of you who have read my blogs over the years know that I have always been very complimentary of how the Pittsburgh Penguins treat their fans… at least most of the time anyway.
They have always done a number of things to make the fans feel involved such as having town hall meetings to keep them posted on the rebuild that went on a few years back, generous giveaways such as the popular “Shirts off their Backs” promotion that sees every Penguins’ player give away his game used jersey to a fan during a post-game ceremony following the final home game of the regular season and much more.
Many in the hockey world are still reeling from the events of Wednesday morning that saw a plane crash take the lives of all but one member of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl KHL team that was en route to the first game of its season in Minsk. Watching the pain and suffering of all involved as been tough for all of us, but no one has felt it worse that the many Russian born NHL players that have intimate ties to many of the teams in the KHL and specifically Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
from Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Even if Crosby comes back this season, danger lurks. He would rejoin a league that still has such a thing as a “legal head shot,” to quote NHL commissioner Gary Bettman — and there is no predicting how Crosby’s brain will react to the next big hit, no matter what the medical experts say.
The cruel nature of his injury makes Crosby day-to-day for good.
The false hope of Crosby’s return permeated the Penguins’ dressing room during last year’s playoffs and made for a daily distraction until he shut it down for good. That can’t happen again. This team starts training camp in 10 days and opens the regular season Oct. 6 at Vancouver. Bylsma and his staff should be strategizing short- and long-term without penciling Crosby’s name onto the depth chart.
This is Evgeni Malkin’s team for now — and despite injuries and bouts of inconsistency, Malkin has shown he can carry the club. When he’s right, he is a top-five player in the world. A two-time 100-point scorer. He should run the power play from the right half-boards, as he did so expertly during Crosby’s prolonged absence in 2007-08.
The Penguins’ defense and goaltending is second to none. They lack firepower up front, but if Malkin returns to form, they would be a viable Stanley Cup contender without Crosby.
In my last article on left wings, a few of you mentioned the positional dilemmas that we seem to face when drafting forwards. This is a great point, since not only do position eligibilities change from league to league (eg. Yahoo/ESPN/CBS), but also from year to year. As well, we also need to keep our eye on forwards with dual position eligibility.
Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, thegoods13, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: anze+kopitar, brad+richards, eric+staal, evgeni+malkin, fantasy+hockey, henrik+sedin, ian+gooding, jonathan+toews, nicklas+backstrom, ryan+getzlaf, ryan+kesler, sidney+crosby, steven+stamkos, the+goods
Though I try to avoid posting a lot of the same things that you might have already seen on the Penguins official site, I did receive the embed codes to the videos from today’s pressers from my predecessor, Tony Ferrante, so I figured that I would post them for you all. He was good enough to send them… I will post them!
I already wrote about Shero’s presser and shared pertinent quotes, but there is no harm in seeing the entire interviews… at this point, the most interesting commentary contained there in is likely to be Bylsma’s thoughts on some other injured players like Dustin Jeffrey and recent signee Jason Williams. However, it is worth hearing the optimism that I mentioned in Shero’s voice for yourselves…
How selfish of me.
I spent the last week enjoying all that the summer has to offer, taking in several different concerts in and around the Pittsburgh area such as Exodus, Slayer, Rob Zombie, Motley Crue, Poison, U2, Kingdom of Sorrow, Megadeth, Godsmack, Disturbed and even managed to give Dave Mustaine a Penguins jersey in the process (but that will be a story for another day).
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.
Have you been wondering how Evgeni Malkin is getting ready for the upcoming season since having knee surgery in February? Pittsburgh Penguins strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar provides an inside look at Malkin’s workouts, which include doing stick-handling drills in a parking lot in Moscow.
Video from the Penguins:
Evgeni Malkin missed the last five games with a sore knee and a sinus issue, returned tonight but did not last long. Looks like a knee issue again.
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
Evgeni Malkin is an NHL scoring champion and playoff MVP.
And for an hour or so during the practice at Consol Energy Center Monday afternoon, he was one of the most gifted fourth-line centers in hockey history.
But Malkin won’t be filling that role—or any other—when the Penguins face the New York Rangers at 7:38 p.m. today at Madison Square Garden, because coach Dan Bylsma has ruled him out of the game.
The reason, Bylsma said, is the lingering effects of a sinus infection Malkin has been battling of late.
“He’s not ready to go,” Bylsma said.
Forget Darryl Sittler’s 10-point performance of 30 some-odd years ago…
I believe it is entirely possible that Washington’s John Erskine may have had the greatest hockey game in the history of the planet last night.
No, his stat line won’t wow you but this game-winner against Atlanta was just icing on top of a cake that already included layers of an epic scrap with Eric Boulton and the all kinds of awesomeness that is the Erskine ‘stache.
Take in the fight, please:
Filed in: NHL Teams, Atlanta Thrashers, d, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: brian+elliott, david+jones, eric+boulton, evgeni+malkin, john+erskine, marian+gaborik, peter+budaj, ray+whitney, vernon+fiddler
This week we will continue to look at former NHL players who are now playing in Europe.
Jagr is clearly not the offensive force that he was in his heyday with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but he has become quite a mentor to younger KHL players, while recording 14 points in 19 games for sixth place Avangard Omsk. However, Jagr’s most impressive feat this year was leading an undermanned Czech squad to World Championship gold against a heavily favoured Russian squad that featured Ovechkin, Malkin, Datsyuk and Gonchar.
HC Slovan Bratislava
Satan is hoping to land another midseason NHL contract as he did with the Boston Bruins last year. In the meantime, Satan registered eight points during a three game contract with Slovan Bratislava of the Slovak league. Satan can still find the back of the net and may yet have another crack at the NHL.
Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alexander+ovechkin, alexei+yashin, boston+bruins, cristobal+huet, detroit+red+wings, evgeni+malkin, fred+braithwaite, j.s.+aubin, jaromir+jagr, manny+legace, marc+lamothe, mike+modano, miroslav+satan, pavel+datsyuk, pittsburgh+penguins, robert+esche, sergei+gonchar, slava+kozlov
Alexander Radulov of Salavat Yulaev entered the record books recently by scoring the fastest goal in Russian hockey history. Radulov scored six seconds into a match against Yugra, after intercepting a pass and doing a nice spin-o-rama move on goaltender Mikhail Biryukov. Radulov beat the twelve year record of seven seconds, set by Andrei Pychelyakov of Severstal in 1998 and later tied by former NHLer Dmitry Yushkevich of Magnitogorsk in 2003. However, Radulov’s goal is not the fastest goal ever recorded in a professional hockey game as that distinction is held by four players who were able to find the back of the net one second faster than Radulov. They are NHLer’s Doug Smail (1981), Bryan Trottier (1984) and fellow Russian Alexander Mogilny (1991), as well as Slovak 2nd division player; Frantisek Zubek of Presov.
Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alexander+mogilny, alexander+radulov, alexander+semin, alexei+morozov, bryan+trottier, dmitry+yushkevich, evgeni+malkin, maxim+afinogenov, salavat+yulaev
from Rob Rossi of Chipped Ice at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
More clear with each day is that we’re not seeing anywhere near the 100-percent Crosby, who has been bothered by a hip injury since the early days of camp. I’ve never known him to use an injury as an excuse for not playing up to his expectations, and I don’t give him enough credit for that. Also, perhaps my expectations of him and Malkin are too high. He and Malkin will be judged against former scoring champions/MVPs Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr for as long as they play with the Penguins—and neither Crosby nor Malkin may prove the consistent game-takeover players those players were in their primes. (Few were, to be fair.) Still, neither Crosby nor Malkin are in their primes, so I’ll continue to believe each player will one day get near the rarefied levels Penguins fans came to expect from Lemieux and Jagr in the “get on my back, boys” department.
more Penguins notes…
The Russian National Team has taken great strides towards regaining past international hockey glory in the last few years. Spurred on by back-to-back World Championship victories with two straight wins over Team Canada in 2008 and 2009 (including a win on Canada’s home ice in 2008), Russia had seemed to finally regain their duo-superpower status with their longtime Canadian rivals. That is until the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, where the Russians were soundly thumped 7-3 by the home side in their quarterfinal matchup. Perhaps, Team Russia goalie; Ilya Bryzgalov, summed up the debacle best by stating that Team Canada played like “gorillas coming out of a cage.”
On the heels of their defeat in Vancouver, many of Russia’s Olympic core squad vowed to gain a measure of revenge at the 2010 World Championships in Germany three months later. Although Russia defeated a relatively undermanned Canadian squad, their efforts, once again, ended in failure with an upset loss to the Czech Republic in the championship final.
Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: alexander+ovechkin, alexander+radulov, alexander+semin, andrei+markov, denis+grebeshkov, evgeni+malkin, evgeni+nabokov, ilya+bryzgalov, ilya+kovalchuk, khl, maxim+afinogenov, nashville+predators, pavel+datsyuk, slava+bykov, slava+kozlov, vladislav+tretiak
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Two words never got lost in translation for Penguins center Evgeni Malkin: Stanley Cup.
He spoke those words a lot to coach Dan Bylsma in July during their two days together in Moscow. He offered them again Friday when assessing what would qualify as a good season personally.
“Win Stanley Cup,” he said, eyebrows arching, voice rising and teeth flashing through an open-mouthed grin — signs that Malkin is comfortable with the English words he has chosen.
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
There are three steps Shero can take this offseason to get the Penguins back to where they once belonged.
Crosby and Malkin will be more dominant with a young, skilled wing to grow with.
However, given the cap constraints, the only way to land that wing is to move one of them for a package that would upgrade the roster and replenish a system that lacks impact forwards beyond top prospect Eric Tangradi.
Staal’s development as a Selke Trophy candidate for his defensive work and offensive upside—at 21, he has produced three 20-goal seasons as a third-liner—gives the Penguins the option of trading Crosby or Malkin. Staal is a prototype No. 2 center and an emerging dressing-room leader.
The Penguins won’t trade Crosby, who aside from being team captain is the franchise’s face. Malkin, already a scoring champion and playoff MVP at 23, is the guy to shop.
Shero should start making calls to his contemporaries, and his first words should be: “Make me an offer for Malkin.” It must include a top-line wing, a top-pairing defenseman, two roster players and either two top prospects or two first-round picks.
added 9:33am, from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Malkin, who has four years left on his contract, is hardly excess baggage, but if Shero were to pick up the phone and start canvassing his lodge-brothers he might get what he sorely needs—two top-six forwards. If he could get two wingers who make about $8 million total that would be less than Malkin’s $8.7-million cap hit, and maybe a team would throw in a stocking stuffer, too. A good draft pick or a top-nine, young-20s forward.
from Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburg Tribune-Review,
With Evgeni Malkin a minus-10 over the past 18 games and a minus-5 for the season — which ranks 629th in the NHL — Bylsma was asked if Malkin’s two-way play has been addressed.
“Sometimes, the statistics can be deceiving as to how a player is playing,” Bylsma said. “I think since the break, he’s come out with a rejuvenated effort in terms of playing on both sides of the puck and playing away from the puck. He’s outstanding with the puck — he’s dynamic with the puck — but sometimes he wants to go get it and have it at all times and keep it at all times.”
Bylsma credited Malkin with improving his play on defense, playing away from the puck and his management of it in the offensive zone. Bylsma said Malkin’s past six games — in which he is minus-4 — “have been probably his best away from the puck and managing the puck all year long.”
more Penguins talk…
from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Right now, he is to the best player debate what Conan O’Brien is to “The Tonight Show.” Actually, O’Brien’s future with NBC might be more promising than the Penguins’ Stanley Cup hopes if Malkin doesn’t rediscover is galloping greatness.
They’ll be lucky to win a playoff round with this version of Malkin.
How fortunate for Malkin, the Penguins’ most talented player, that he is not their most scrutinized, even though he and captain Sidney Crosby each count $8.7 million against the salary cap.
Crosby was a marvel this past week in Western Canada, expertly handling off-ice responsibilities that Malkin usually begs to ignore (even in the comforts of Pittsburgh) — often using the excuse of a limited understanding of English to avoid PR situations that Crosby has handled since he was, oh, 13.
I know that Malkin understands English well enough to routinely give Crosby a break from granting interviews and shooting commercials to promote his team and sport. He chooses not to do much more than just play hockey, but he can just play hockey because of Crosby’s willingness to do all the off-ice heavy lifting befitting a true superstar.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
I’ve always felt a propriety interest in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin – and it all stems back to a book project I did during the 2006-07 season with Dave King, a Phoenix Coyotes’ assistant coach, who was behind the bench of three Canadian men’s Olympic hockey teams. That year, King took his vast international resume to Russia, where he became the first Canadian to coach in what was then known as the Super League.
Malkin’s peer, Alex Ovechkin, had left for the NHL already, but he stayed behind to play one more season, which permitted King’s Magnitogorsk team to fashion an extraordinary regular season, much of thanks to the play of his teenage star.
King and I spoke almost every week and almost every week he had another anecdote relating to Malkin’s rapid-fire development. In fact, about the only criticism that King ever levelled towards him was that when things went sour – in the way they inevitably do, even for the most talented and precocious players – Malkin would revert to individual play and go all lone wolf, trying to do everything by himself. Sometimes, it even worked. Mostly it did not.
continued and additional hockey topics discussed…
I see that many people are worried because of my decline in productivity. But the season is long and everybody has slowdowns. Do not worry I will be in my best form by the Olympics and I hope I will not let my country down.
-Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Team Russia. More from Malkin at RussiaToday.