Published on September 5th, 2012 | by James Conley0
Evgeni Malkin to Join KHL’s Magnitogorsk During NHL Lockout
Penguins C Evgeni Malkin will reportedly sign to play in the Kontinental Hockey League in 2012 if the NHL Lockout extends beyond the September 15 expiration of the current CBA and cuts into the season.
Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov translated a Russian report from SovSport’s Pavel Lysenkov, who spoke to Malkin about his lockout plans.
Q. For the last week the media has been discussing where Evgeni Malkin will play in case of a lockout…
Malkin: “It’s been said a hundred times that the lockout hasn’t been announced. Why make any statements for nothing? Yes, I have an agreement — I will play for [Metallurg] Magnitogorsk. But I have not signed a contract.”
Q. Metallurg vice president Gennadi Velichkin said that his club owns your rights.
“There are no rights. But that’s my city. Why leave? I don’t want to create a negative atmosphere around myself. It’s important for me what fans think and say about me. Everything that’s dear to me is in Magnitogorsk — family, friends… I hope that I will play at home and the lockout will be over by the New Year’s.”
Malkin played for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, his hometown team, prior to joining the Penguins in 2006-07.
When Malkin first defected from the KHL to join the Penguins in 2006, it took a complicated series of undercover moves to break away from his deal with the Russian league. This time, Malkin’s status as an NHL MVP and former Conn Smythe winner should allow him and fellow Russian stars like Alex Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk the clout to return to the NHL and honor previous contracts without much interference.
Malkin would reportedly play for the KHL on week-to-week contracts that would allow him to make a short-notice return to the NHL when, or perhaps even if, a start to the 2012-13 season is announced.
Image FrenchKheldar @ flickr