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Pittsburgh Penguins Evgeni Malkin Skating to get a puck during a game
Photo credit: NY Post

Malkin Value Has Been Revealed and Trading Him Will Be Harder Than You Think

Published February 1, 2024 at 3:15 PM
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Evgeni Malkin has become a staple on the Penguins roster. Fans have an appreciation for him, there is also the sentimental factor at play, he is a core player.

But The Evgeni Malkin we see now on the ice at 37-years-old is not the same Malkin that scored over 100 points three times. Or the same player who won the Art Ross Trophy scoring title twice, a Hart Trophy, a Conn Smythe Trophy or a Ted Lindsay Award. He is far from the 2007 Calder Trophy winner for Rookie of the Year.

There is no doubt that the three-time Stanley Cup Champion has fallen off his game. The question is, what is Malkin's value?

Opinion on Malkin varied over the last few years, especially when the time came for his to hit free agency or re-sign with the Penguins after the 2021-22 season. Malkin's deal came right before the unrestricted free agency deadline, even though the Penguins were very adamant about keeping him with Crosby and Letang to finish their careers together.


The Divide About Malkin Grows Between Those Who Appreciate Him and Those That May Not



There is a lot of talk about Malkin and having him play a diminished role on the team. Possibly even to move to the 3rd line center position. It does not help that his two counterpart's Crosby and Kris Letang (both 36) are having age-defying years on the ice. Crosby is leading the team in points with 50 and goals with 27, while Letang has 29 points and has made strong defensive play and penalty killing a focus this year.

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But Malkin, who is third on the team in goals with 16 and points with 40, does not get the same accolades. He has had a strong start to the season, but the revolving door of wingers and his diminishing recent play could be why Malkin seems to be slowing down.

So, it appears that his value is based on either he is a future Hall of Fame hockey player who can help the team still, or his eroding play is hurting the team. Sentimentally, fans are torn.

But as far as the business end goes, Malkin has a no-movement clause in his contract unless he wants to go somewhere else, he will not. And all signs point to where his heart still is, in Pittsburgh. Monetarily he has a salary cap hit of $6.1 million and is signed through the 2025-26 season.

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On the business side, there are those who feel Malkin is not bringing enough to the team for the money he is making. Granted, Malkin is an emotional player and sometimes he gets himself into some penalty problems that could cost the team. Let's not forget the lazy play in front of his own net, and that Arizona game where he scored for them.

Looking past that, it does seem his value as a second line center does stand up. He is in line with other second line center's as far as salary goes and play.

The Penguins do have a pretty brutal second half of the season ahead to make the playoffs. The hope for some is that Malkin can play up to the task.

So, who is right. The sentimentalists who believe in what Malkin has done and can still do. Or the ones who believe he has outlived his usefulness on the Penguins, and it should be 'just business' and move on from him.

As Read On: Pittsburgh Hockey Now - Malkin's Value to Penguins: Sentimentality vs. Pure Business
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February 1   |   245 answers
Malkin Value Has Been Revealed and Trading Him Will Be Harder Than You Think

How to you feel about Evgeni Malkin?

Sentimental - Love him13153.5 %
Business - Time to move on11446.5 %
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