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Evgeni Malkin escapes Russia via Finland/Canada

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by ericbowser, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. Flash

    Flash Guest

    And I'm actually the one with a Paul Henderson shrine ... next to my obsessive Yzerman shrine ...

    Eric, I think anyone would be insulted if somebody left their land for Columbus. I think I might be.
  2. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    My question is, if he was going to do this anyways, why the hell did he sign a contract to remain with the team through this season, one that would allow him to join the Pens in 2007-08?
  3. Flash

    Flash Guest

    Was he forced to?
  4. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    I haven't heard one way or the other, maybe that's why he expedited his exit from Russia
  5. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner. At least I suspect so.
  6. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    Why hasn't his aget admitted so yet, If I were him and going public about Malkin's desire toplay for the Pens, this would have been one of the first things I mentioned.
  7. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Gotta lay low for a bit. Who knows where the Hell the kid even is at this point. Sounds like he's in hiding, and he may be in hiding for a very good reason (cue conspiracy theorists).
  8. Flash

    Flash Guest

    Hell, the agent may have had a gun to his head, too ...
  9. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    I don't have a dog in this fight, but that last line made me laugh.
  10. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Good column by Allan Maki in today's Globe. Nice summary of the situation. (Have to cut and paste the whole column since you have to pay the Globe money for their columns).

    It is the hockey story of the summer; a real why did he do it; a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma.

    Where is Evgeny Malkin and where will he be playing this season? Will it be the Pittsburgh Penguins, the National Hockey League team that drafted him second overall in 2004? Will he be forced to honour the one-year contract he signed only last week with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Super League? Or will the supremely talented 20-year-old be held in limbo by lawsuits, countersuits and the bad blood that may come between the NHL and the Russian Ice Hockey Federation over player-transfer fees?

    This much was known yesterday, less than 24 hours after Malkin took his passport and bolted Magnitogorsk's training camp in Finland: He is in North America, likely in the United States, huddling with his advisers and contemplating his next move.

    Most definitely, Malkin wants to play in the NHL. Most definitely, his agents, Pat Brisson and J.P. Barry, want him there, as do the Penguins. But Metallurg is just as determined to keep its signed asset as it is to see the NHL pay more than $200,000 (U.S.) for the rights to Russia's best players.

      In other words, this is a power struggle of political proportions and Malkin has put himself smack in the middle. Why he would do that and how he's done it are questions without definitive answers, only opinions.

    Talk to 10 hockey people and all 10 will agree Malkin is destined for greatness; that he's smooth and strong and a sure NHL star in the making.

    Talk to the same people about Malkin the man and the comments are not so glowing.

    The most repeated complaint is that Malkin has no taste for commitment and is too easily influenced. Consider his history: He agrees to a long-term deal with Metallurg; he changes agents the way some of us change shoes; he tries to take advantage of Russian labour law by giving Metallurg two weeks notice of his departure; instead, he signs a one-year deal with Metallurg, opens a restaurant there with a jailhouse theme, then leaves without saying so much as dasvidania.
    Little wonder Metallurg general manager Gennady Velichkin sounded hostile yesterday and used the words "pure sports terrorism" to describe Malkin's flight.

    "They all like to talk about democracy, the American way, and then they shamelessly steal our best players," Velichkin told The Associated Press.

    "Don't forget: Malkin is a young kid. He is still very naive and it was easy for them to get into his head, all that stuff about the American dream and how great the NHL is."

    "The Pittsburgh owners are trying hard to sell the club and the price would be totally different if they had Malkin. But you just can't take our best players and expect to get away with it."

    Russia is the only major hockey country that has refused to sign the player-transfer agreement negotiated last year by the International Ice Hockey Federation. Technically, it could be argued the Russians shouldn't get a nickel of transfer money because of their refusal.

    NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly declined to wade too deeply into the Malkin waters because "I don't know all the facts." However, Daly said in an e-mail: "We certainly respect Mr. Malkin's ability to make the personal choices that he feels are right for him. Players who want to play in the National Hockey League are going to come here -- regardless of whether there is a player-transfer agreement in place."

    That's true, but as Velichkin promised: "Don't think we'll just sit there and do nothing. We'll go to court to get what we believe is proper compensation."

    Millions of dollars may eventually resolve the situation, but things are certain to get messier. Malkin is a name player with a significant profile. The Russian Ice Hockey Federation isn't likely to stop Alexei Miknov and Andrei Taratukhin from signing with the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, respectively, but when it comes to Malkin, this will be a determined and public fight, a line drawn in the ice.

    Which brings us back to the original question of why did he do it? Why did Malkin risk so much, maybe even the safety of his parents, if you believe all the chat-room rumours about the Russian mob and sinister forces at work?

    As best as anyone knows, Malkin saw countryman Alexander Ovechkin tear up the NHL, wondered why he couldn't do the same, then felt cheated by the very agreement he had signed. Just days before he made his one-year commitment to Metallurg, Malkin was quoted in Russia saying, "I am 95 per cent I will cross the pond. . . . I think now is the time for me to play for Pittsburgh." He's crossed the pond, all right. Now it's time to see just how much he's crossed those who took him at his word.


    Guy's obviously a great hockey player but sounds, shall we say, a bit unstable.
  11. Flash

    Flash Guest

    Jesus, that last line is kind of scary ...
  12. Flash

    Flash Guest

    And more on the TSN site ...


    TSN has confirmed that Malkin, through his representation, has indeed served notice that he will not be returning, and provided Metallurg Magnitogorsk the obligatory two week notification required in writing under Russian labour law. This process took place quickly following his departure from the team on Saturday.

    Malkin is said to be rattled by this cloak and dagger saga and wants for nothing other than the opportunity to play in the National Hockey League and to put the nastiness of this battle behind him and his family.

    "It's not his fault, he didn't ask for this", a source close to the situation told TSN. "He was ready to play (in the NHL) last year. This is what he wants."
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