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Florida Interested in Evgeni Malkin; Trade Rumors are Real

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Pittsburgh penguins Evgeni Malkin

For the first time in Evgeni Malkin’s career, the trade rumors are real.

In the early days of the budding Penguins core centered on Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, there was some talk the Penguins would choose to keep Jordan Staal as the second center. That was not the case. As the legend suggests, the Penguins turned down a king’s ransom for Malkin from several teams including the LA Kings who also wanted a return to the star power 1990s.

However, the talk is now legitimate. Pittsburgh Hockey Now spoke with sources close to the Penguins front office and around the league. Sources said the Florida Panthers are interested in Malkin for several reasons, and the Penguins are genuinely considering a Malkin trade. The trade talk is not a bluff.

Malkin told a Russian reporter at the IIHF World Championships, “I’m used to the talks I’m get traded, so it doesn’t get me nervous. Now I’m in the team Russia, and I’ll try to prove I’m good.”

From the Florida side, they are widely reported to be interested in unrestricted free agent Artemi Panarin. Adding a Malkin-Panarin punch to their lineup would go a long way to making Florida competitive again. It would also add legitimate star power which some in Florida believe could sell tickets and revive a struggling fan base.

Florida was 30th of 31 teams in attendance this season. They averaged only 13,261 fans per game, but the number of visiting fans and seat giveaways pad the total. Florida hasn’t ranked higher than 22nd in attendance since 2012-13.

Also, having Malkin, 32, already on the roster would help to lure the Russian born Panarin, as well.

From the Penguins side, it is a poorly kept secret the coaches and management were unhappy with Malkin’s attitude this season. Sources told Pittsburgh Hockey Now some in the Penguins front office believe the Round One squash by the New York Islanders was proof the Penguins need a seismic shift in their core to extend their championship window with Sidney Crosby.

Not even Malkin was happy with his season. 

There appears to be a fluid nature to the current feelings. One conversation with Malkin could cement belief things must change, or one conversation could quell the situation. A couple of facts have become clear: The Penguins have not made a final decision as perhaps even they are struck by the enormity of the situation and there are varied opinions within the front office and Penguins hierarchy regarding how sweeping the changes should be for next season.

Malkin also has a no-movement clause and would have a voice regarding if, or where, he goes.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now believes the price for Malkin is a high scoring forward, a prospect, and a first-round draft pick. Circle Florida forward Jonathan Huberdeau. Sources mentioned his name but it is unclear if Florida or Pittsburgh used his name in discussions. The 25-year-old Huberdeau was drafted as a center but has made his mark as a point-producing left wing who potted 30 goals and 92 points this season.

Huberdeau just completed the second year of a six-year, $35.4 million deal which carries a $5.9 million annual cap hit.

Florida also has several prospects including slick skating defenseman Max Gildon, 19, who is playing for the University of New Hampshire and exciting winger Aleksi Heponiemi, 20, who posted 46 points (16g, 30a) through 50 games in the Finnish Elite League. Heponiemi left the WHL after two seasons with the Swift Current Broncos to play at home in Finland.

Edit: We corrected the original report which stated Malkin has a no-trade clause. Rather, Malkin has a no-movement clause.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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ALex
ALex
2 years ago

Is it bad I don’t hate the Huberdeau, high level prospect, 1st offer for malkin? Like it seems like not enough but at the same time seems like a fair replacement for him….

superk116
2 years ago

As a FLA fan we will not give you guys Huberdeau but I think Hoffman, Trocheck and a prospect will be fair

Brandon
Brandon
2 years ago
Reply to  superk116

For the 101st greatest hockey player of all time?

Yeah no as a Pens fan Florida doesn’t have the pieces to even do the trade…. but if we absolutely had to force one: Huberdeau plus Trocheck and either a good prospect or first/second round pick.

Could also see a Barkov for Malkin one for one trade like Nashville and Montreal did with Webber/Subban….

HOWEVER, neither team should do any of the trades mentioned because Panthers don’t need a 30 plus year old center and Pittsburgh needs to try to force one more cup with the Malkin/Crosby duo.

Dean
Dean
2 years ago

Would rather free up the cash to get the UFA we want.

Let Florida keep their current starters, take Owen Tippet, Henrick Borgstrom, and at least FL’s 1st pick.

While Owen and Borgstrom develop, Pens could sign a combo of Hayes, Duchene, and/or Nelson and use one of our 2 firsts for Kapanen.

Obviously, we would still need to move out Kessel too.

If Kessel was part of the Florida deal then let’s get Jonathan Huberdeau too.

Zane Gearhart
Zane Gearhart
2 years ago

Unless a trading partner retains salary the money doesnt work. Getting a skilled winger would be great, but we wont have enough cap space to fill the 2C with anyone decent. Matt duchene will get close to genos cap hit now. Would rather dump kessel, and find better wingers to push geno back to the north/south game. To me that’s an easy and cheaper way to improve the team.

Big B
Big B
2 years ago

If Malkin goes Kessel is still going and so is Maata so there will be lots of dough left for a second line center.GMJR may also fill the gap with a trade and not through free agency.Vincent Trochek may be in the deal and bingo there is your second line center.

Edgar
Edgar
2 years ago

I hate trading him, but we have to look at anything that can improve the team, but the problem is the guy who is orchestrating it put us in the mess to begin with.

Keith Thomas
Keith Thomas
2 years ago

Well, all along I thought FL Panthers would be a location that would be amenable to Malkin as there is a sizable Russian population there. Plus if they are seriously seeking to pursue FA Panarin & Bobrovsky it might become the Russian National Team in the Western Hemisphere! This might be a real attractive opportunity for all those players and they might just sign for less money to get that opportunity! If I am JR, I would not take anyone over 25 yrs old in any deal but they will want to move $ if they are going after that… Read more »

Hatrick Pornqvist
Hatrick Pornqvist
2 years ago

Whatever happens, if we trade Malkin, to me that absolutely has to mean we get younger all over the lineup. If we are gonna break up the core we can’t do it half assed. Build a new team around Sid. Start going young young young. Sid has years of being a force left. I don’t think the same can be said for Phil. And Letang’s health is not going to be something that gets better with age. So go big on a fast rebuild with Sid, Dumo, Jake, McCann, Schultz, Petterssen, Rust, and Murray as the base, or don’t touch… Read more »

David
David
2 years ago

Malkin was a -25 in 2018, and that is exactly how he looked. He did look as if he lacked commitment and was uncoachable — I say that because he just kept making the same stupid mistakes over and over again. Rarely did we see the dominant player of the past, but instead, a player that was often a liability. Fans will never forget his years and contribution to the Penguins. But his contract runs through 2021-22 and the Penguins cannot have 3 more years like this one. As a Pens fan, I would definitely trade him in the terms… Read more »

Le' Magnifique
Le' Magnifique
2 years ago
Reply to  David

Malkin looked like he was stuck in the mud…The turnovers..penalties…low goal production….plus.minus was.HORRIBLE…acted like he was hurt or didnt give a FLICK…….If hes gonna be that kind of player again?…..Adios Geno!

James from Florida
James from Florida
2 years ago

He’s not going anywhere, Phil is the one who will go along with JJ and What’s a Matta!

They are not rebuilding they are reloading.

Bill Maloni
2 years ago

Take the best Geno deal for Geno Florida is willing to make (ask for a little more) and–if necessary to build Florida’s Russian base–throw in Kesselovsky

Cal
Cal
2 years ago

I love Geno but it would be poor management not to listen to offers. If the deal is going to make the Pens a better, younger team that has a realistic shot of getting the cup, it makes sense. Kessel? I think he would not be missed as much as many of us think. I get tired of seeing “Kessel fly-bys” by not getting engaged in plays or checks. May lose a few goals when he is gone but the replacement player may prevent a few also. ( I just about Puked when Carolina stole Neiderreiter ) I wouldn’t mind… Read more »

Darren W L
Darren W L
2 years ago

I think Rutherford needs to go. Since our winning the cup all he has done is decimate this team

Matt Luda
Matt Luda
2 years ago

I’d trade Malkin for Huberdeau plus a lesser draft pick in a heartbeat. He’s only 25 and signed through 2023 on the cheap ($5.9 mil per season.) Could be a great fit with Sid on the top line. Then I’d dump Maatta and Kessel for draft picks and use the $14 mil difference to sign one of Duchene/Hayes/Nelson plus Gardner, a 6-foot-2, puck-moving d-man. Result: Younger, faster, deeper and better positioned for the future.

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