Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin's name became the subject of trade rumors shortly after the team's Stanley Cup triumph, and the Chicago Blackhawks, another perennial Stanley Cup contender, may be in the mix.
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Rutherford Comments on Malkin Rumors
Tuesday, June 21
“We’re not looking to move him," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said, per Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I did not get an inquiry from any team."
Report: Blackhawks Interested in Malkin
Tuesday, June 21
According to Steve Zipay of Newsday, the Blackhawks are reportedly "seriously kicking [the] tires" with regard to the possibility of acquiring the 29-year-old Russian.
Healthy Malkin Would Provide New Team with One of NHL's Most Talented Players
Malkin is productive when healthy, but he hasn't appeared in at least 75 games in a single season since 2011-12. He played in just 57 contests this past season, and although he had 58 points, his playoff performance of six goals and 18 points in 23 games was somewhat disappointing for a player of his caliber.
The 6'3" veteran has a cap hit of $9.5 million through the 2021-22 season, per NHLNumbers.com, which Sidney Crosby's cap hit of $10.9 million and Phil Kessel's $9 million figure exacerbate.
Dealing Malkin would give Pittsburgh far more flexibility and the option to bring in multiple players to add some depth to the roster.
The Blackhawks have $8.6 million in cap space, according to NHLNumbers.com, but with just 15 players signed, they don't have enough room for Malkin without sending some salary the other way.
With a core that already includes forwards Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Artemi Panarin and Marian Hossa, along with defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, Chicago has the pieces in place to win its fourth Stanley Cup since 2010 in the upcoming season.
Adding Malkin to the mix would make Chicago an even more dangerous offensive team provided he is healthy, but it would likely continue to negatively impact the team's depth, which could be an issue should injuries cut down key players.
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Source : http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2647652-evgeni-malkin-trade-rumors-latest-buzz-speculation-on-penguins-star