A new rumor gaining steam is that Pittsburgh will trade star Evgeni Malkin this summer, which would be great news to this Philadelphia Flyers fan.
This season has been an emotion roller coaster for Pittsburgh Penguins hating Philadelphia Flyers fans. The Penguins sucked in the first half of their season, which was great. Since changing coaches, however, they have been pretty fantastic. Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang have been especially good in this period.
Then the playoffs rolled around, and I fully expected them to easily cast off the fading New York Rangers. The series against the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning could have gone either way though.
It therefore brightened my day a little as a new rumor broke the other day. The hot new story is that my number one Penguins enemy, Evgeni Malkin, is playing his last games as a Penguin. The main source of the rumor is Nick Kypreos of the Canadian media. He’s no stranger to breaking trades.
On one hand, the rumor makes a lot of sense. The Penguins have a lot of money tied up in a few players. Phil Kessel has also broken through in a big way these playoffs playing with Carl Hagelin and Nick Bonino. Given that Malkin and Crosby have never played well together, that’s a lot of high priced talent spread out among 3 lines.
Malkin’s doing just fine these playoffs with 15 points in 19 games. That said, that’s 4th on the Penguins and he’s been flying under the radar somewhat. Malkin has a salary carrying a cap hit of $9.5 per season for 6 more years, and the question is not if he’s good enough for it, but if it makes sense for this particular Penguins team to carry it.
Malkin is still a very good player, and most teams would kill to have him as their first line center. Malkin himself might welcome the chance to be an undisputed number 1 center after sharing the spotlight with Crosby for so many years. The big obstacle is that the salary cap won’t rise much this season, so any trade suitor needs to have a lot of cap room.
When you have a player as good as Malkin, teams find a way to get it done, even if he’s a weasel. Look at the Florida Panthers who are mentioned in the linked story above, and one-two center lineup of Alexander Barkov and Malkin would be fearsome. Frankly, I don’t care where he goes all that much, as long as I don’t have to see Malkin-stein in Penguins uniform taking cheapshots at Philadelphia Flyers players.
A Malkin trade would be big news for the league in general, and particularly good news for me. So please let it be true.