Reports surfaced on Monday that Pittsburgh Penguins forward, Evgeni Malkin, was in talks with KHL teams about a potential contract for the star forward to play in Russia incase of an NHL lockout.
The current NHL collective bargaining agreement is set to expire on September 15th and once it does the NHL and commissioner Gary Bettman have already stated they will lock out its players if indeed a new CBA has yet to be reached. Its led many players to start planning ahead for a possible NHL lockout, which makes sense because a lot of players played overseas and in other leagues during the last NHL lockout that nixed the entire 2004-05 NHL season. Fun facts: the 2004-05 lockout marked the first year since 1919 that the Stanley Cup was not awarded and also marked the first time that a North American sports league cancelled an entire season because of a labor dispute.
Malkin’s agent, JP Barry, confirmed on Monday that Malkin is indeed attempting to sign with Magnitogorsk and other KHL teams. Barry also told us that Malkin is attempting to sign a week to week contract that allows him to play overseas during the lockout yet also allows him to easily walk away and rejoin the Pittsburgh Penguins once the NHL lockout has ended.
It’s important to note that Magnitogorsk is not only Malkin’s hometown in Russia, but it is also the team he played for before coming to the NHL.
Malkin has two years left on his current contract with the Penguins and is coming off one of his best seasons as an NHL pro. Last season he registered 50 goals and 59 assists to give him a league best 109 points, while playing in 75 games for Pittsburgh.
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