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Evgeni Malkin

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Evgeni Malkin
Position Centre
Shoots Left
6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
205 lb (93 kg)
NHL Team
F. Teams
Pittsburgh Penguins
Metallurg Magnitogorsk (RSL)
Born July 31 1986 (1986-07-31) (age 30),
Magnitogorsk, Russian SFSR, USSR
NHL Draft 2nd overall, 2004
Pittsburgh Penguins
Pro Career 2003 – present

Evgeni "Geno" Vladimirovich Malkin (Russian: Евгений "Гено" Влади́мирович Малкин,[1][2] born July 31, 1986) is a Russian professional ice hockey center and alternate captain for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Chosen second overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Malkin's career in the NHL was delayed because of an international transfer dispute until 2006–07, in which he captured the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league's best rookie. In his second season, he helped carry Pittsburgh to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals and was a runner-up for the Hart Memorial Trophy. The following season, Malkin totaled 113 points and won the Art Ross Trophy, awarded annually to the top-scorer in the NHL. He then led all players in playoff scoring, en route to a Conn Smythe Trophy and the Stanley Cup championship.

Internationally, Malkin has competed for Russia in two IIHF World U18 Championships and three IIHF World U20 Championships, capturing one gold, two silvers and one bronze medal, as a junior. In 2006, in addition to a silver medal, he was also named tournament MVP. As a senior, he has played in three IIHF World Championships, capturing two bronze medals, as well as two Winter Olympic Games, in Turin and Vancouver.

Early lifeEdit

Malkin's father, Vladimir, was a defenceman for the same team he played for in Russia, Metallurg Magnitogorsk. His brother, Denis, was also in Magnitogorsk's hockey system.

Playing career Edit

Evgeni Malkin-2008

Malkin is a product of the Metallurg Magnitogorsk hockey program. Prior to being drafted, he made his Russian Superleague debut in the 2003–04 season as a 17-year-old. He also made his international debut for Russia during the 2003 U-18 World Championships, where he skated on the top line with Alexander Ovechkin. The team went on to claim the bronze medal. After his first professional season in Russia, Malkin was drafted 2nd overall (behind national teammate Alexander Ovechkin) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Upon being drafted, Malkin would remain in Russia through to the 2005-06 season. In the midst of a dispute between the NHL and the IIHF, the Russian Hockey Federation refused to ratify a transfer agreement, forcing Malkin to honor his existing contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

Before the start of the 2006–07 season, it appeared Malkin would remain in Russia another season after signing a one-year contract with Metallurg, but after some legal maneuvering, Malkin relieved himself of his Russian obligations and signed an entry-level contract with the Penguins. On September 20, 2006, in his first preseason game as a Pittsburgh Penguin, Malkin collided with teammate John LeClair and dislocated his shoulder, which forced him to miss the start of the season. Subsequently, his NHL debut would be delayed until October 18, against the New Jersey Devils, in which he would score his first NHL goal against Martin Brodeur.

To begin his NHL career, Malkin set a modern-day record as the first player to score at least one goal in each of his first six games. No player had achieved this feat since the league's inaugural season in 1917–18, when Joe Malone scored at least one goal in 14 consecutive games to start his NHL career.[3] Malone's mark, however, was set when technically every player was playing in his first NHL season; he had already played almost a decade in the league's predecessor, the NHA. Malkin's streak was eventually stopped in his seventh game by the San Jose Sharks.

Evgeni Malkin

Malkin during a practice with the Penguins in 2006.

Playing on a team with fellow phenom Sidney Crosby, Malkin finished his rookie season with 33 goals and 85 points, leading all first-year players and capturing the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.

When Malkin arrived in the United States, he spoke no English, but through the help of fellow Russian and teammate Sergei Gonchar, and his cousins, he eventually started to give short, simple interviews in the language.[4]

In his sophomore season, Malkin recorded his first NHL hat trick against the Toronto Maple Leafs, on January 3, 2008. He earned another three-goal performance several games later, on January 14, against the New York Rangers. Midway through the season, when more heralded teammate and captain Sidney Crosby went down with an ankle injury, Malkin seized the opportunity to lead the Penguins, scoring 44 points in the 28 games Crosby was absent.[5] In total, Malkin completed the season 2nd in NHL scoring with 106 points, six points behind Alexander Ovechkin for the Art Ross Trophy. Malkin continued to dominate into the playoffs as the Penguins made it to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals. He scored three points against Detroit in the finals, totaling 22 points overall, but the Penguins were defeated by Detroit in six games.

Malkin's sophomore season culminated in a Hart Memorial Trophy nomination as league MVP—the award was given to Ovechkin—and First Team All-Star honors. On July 2, 2008, with one year left in his entry-level contract, he signed a contract extension with the Penguins for $43.5 million over five years.[6]

Malkin began the 2008–09 season by scoring his 200th NHL point with an assist to Sidney Crosby on October 18, 2008. The goal was Crosby's 100th career goal and 300th career point. Crosby had a team trainer cut the puck in half so both players could commemorate the moment.[7] Voted as a starter to the 2009 NHL All-Star Game later in the season, Malkin won the shooting accuracy segment of the Skills Competition, initially shooting four-for-four before beating Dany Heatley three-for-four in a tie-breaker. After having finished runner-up to Alexander Ovechkin the previous season for the Art Ross Trophy, Malkin captured the scoring championship with 113 points. He became the second Russian-born player to win it, after Ovechkin, and the fourth Penguin, after Mario Lemieux, Jaromír Jágr, and Crosby. However, he would once again be runner-up to Ovechkin for the Hart Memorial Trophy, although this time garnering a few more first-place votes. In 2008, he had just one first-place vote (out of 134 votes) and 659 points to Ovechkin's 128 first-place votes and 1,313 points.[8] In 2009, Malkin had 12 first-place votes (out of 133 votes) and 787 points to Ovechkin's 115 first-place votes and 1,264 points.[9]


Malkin, along with his parents (left), during the Penguins' victory parade for their 2009 Stanley Cup victory

On June 12, 2009, the Penguins won the Stanley Cup by defeating the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 in game 7 of the finals. Malkin tallied 36 points (14 goals, 22 assists) to become the first player to lead both the regular season and playoffs in scoring since Mario Lemieux accomplished the feat in 1992. His 36 points were the highest playoff total of any player since Wayne Gretzky amassed 40 points in 1993. Malkin received the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, becoming the first Russian-born player to do so. He is also just the second player in franchise history to win both the Art Ross and Conn Smythe trophies in the same year. The other Penguin to accomplish this feat was Hall of Famer and team co-owner/president Mario Lemieux (1992).

On February 4, 2011, after missing five games due to a left knee injury and sinus infection, Malkin returned to play against the Buffalo Sabres. At the start of the second period, Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers collided with Malkin against the end-boards, injuring his right knee. He was helped off the ice and went straight to the dressing room, unable to return to the game as he suffered both a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL). On February 9, it was announced that Malkin would undergo knee surgery. The Penguins estimated his recovery period as six months, sidelining him for the remainder of the 2010-11 NHL season and playoffs, but stated he should be ready for training camp in September.[10] According to the Penguins' General Manager, Ray Shero, Malkin sent him a text message after the incident occurred stating, "I'm sorry." In Shero's words, "I told him he had nothing to apologize for."[11]

Transfer dispute Edit

Malkin's NHL career began with controversy, as a transfer dispute between the NHL and the IIHF delayed his Pittsburgh debut.

On August 7, 2006, it appeared that the 20-year-old Malkin had come to a compromise with Metallurg and signed a dl that would have kept him in Russia until May 2007. However, Malkin stated that he signed the one-year contract not as a compromise but because of the immense "psychological pressure" his former club exerted on him. Desiring to play in the NHL, he left Metallurg Magnitogorsk's training camp in Helsinki, Finland, before it had started on August 12. It would later appear that the team had taken Malkin's passport away to prevent him from leaving, but it was eventually given back to him and Malkin was allowed to pass through Finnish customs. Meeting with his agent, J. P. Barry, the two quickly departed and waited for Malkin's visa clearance from the US Embassy.

In order to legally leave the team, on August 15, Malkin invoked, by fax, a provision of Russian labor law that allowed him to cancel his one-year contract by giving his employer two weeks notice.[12] Having untied himself of obligations in Russia, he was able to sign an entry-level contract with the Penguins on September 5, 2006.[13]

Following his first NHL game with Pittsburgh, on October 19, 2006, Malkin's former Russian hockey club filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NHL and the Penguins in the United States District Court for the southern district of New York.[14] The lawsuit claimed that Malkin should not be permitted to play in the NHL because he is still under contract in Russia. The claim also sought unspecified monetary damages. The motion for an injunction was, however, denied on November 15, 2006, ensuring that Malkin would continue play in the NHL that season.[15] The lawsuit was furthermore dismissed by the District Court on February 1, 2007.[16]

International playEdit

Medal record
Evgeni Malkin3.jpg
Malkin during the 2005 World Championships
Competitor for Flag of Russia Russia
Ice hockey
World Championships
Silver 2010 Germany
Bronze 2007 Moscow
Bronze 2005 Vienna
World Junior Championships
Silver 2006 Vancouver
Silver 2005 Grand Forks
World U18 Championships
Gold 2004 Minsk
Bronze 2003 Yaroslavl
Evgeni Malkin jersey

Malkin's jersey from the gold medal game at the 2004 U18 Championships.

Malkin made his first international appearance with Russia at the 2003 IIHF World U18 Championships in Yaroslavl. He helped Russia to a bronze medal, scoring 9 points in 6 games. He was named Russia's U18 captain for the 2004 IIHF World U18 Championships the following year and scored 8 points as Russia improved to a gold medal in the tournament.

Several months prior to his second and final U18 tournament, Malkin debuted at the under-20 level with Russia at the 2004 World Junior Championships. In his first of three tournament appearances, he contributed 5 points in 6 games, but could not help Russia reach the podium. The following year, Malkin finished second in team scoring at the 2005 World Junior Championships to Alexander Ovechkin with 10 points. Led by the duo of Malkin and Ovechkin (the two had also played together the previous year), Russia won the silver, losing to Canada in the gold medal game. Later in 2005, Malkin made his debut with the Russian men's team at the 2005 World Championships. Despite failing to score a goal in the tournament, Malkin contributed 4 assists to help Russia to a bronze medal in Vienna.


Malkin at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

In 2006, Malkin did triple duty for Russia, competing in his third World Junior Championships, his first Winter Olympics, and his second World Championships. He was named the top forward and MVP of the 2006 World Junior Championships in January, captaining Russia to a second straight silver medal and gold medal game loss to Canada. Less than two months later, Malkin was given one of the final spots on Team Russia for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, where he helped the team to a fourth-place finish with 6 points in 7 games. Then in May, Malkin played in the 2006 World Championship, where he led Russia in team scoring with 9 points.

Following his NHL rookie campaign with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Malkin was named to Team Russia for the 2007 World Championships, where he achieved a personal best for the tournament of 10 points. He also captured his second World Championships bronze.

Malkin was selected to play for the Russian Olympic Team at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, where he led Team Russia in points yet again with 3 goals and 6 points in 4 games. Team Russia ultimately lost to Canada in the quarterfinals, finishing 6th overall, which incidentally is their worst placing ever at an Olympic Games (including the former Soviet Union and Unified Team teams).

Awards and achievements Edit

Records Edit

  • First player since 1917–18 to score goals in each of his first six NHL games (first accomplished by Joe Malone, Newsy Lalonde and Cy Denneny in inaugural NHL season) (Oct 18 - Nov 01, 2006)
  • Longest point streak by a Russian player in the NHL – 15 games (accomplished twice) (surpassed Dmitri Kvartalnov of the Boston Bruins – 14 games in 1992)[19]
  • Most consecutive post season games with multiple points for the Pittsburgh Penguins – 6 games (May 9–23, 2009)
  • First Russian player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy (2009)

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003–04 Metallurg Magnitogorsk RSL 34391212
2004–05 Metallurg Magnitogorsk RSL 5212203224 50440
2005–06 Metallurg Magnitogorsk RSL 4621264746 115101541
2006–07 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 7833528580 50448
2007–08 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 82475910678 2010122224
2008–09 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 82357811380 2414223651
2009–10 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 67284977100 1356116
2010–11 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 4315223718
NHL totals 352158260418356 6229447389


Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
2003 Russia U18 65492
2004 Russia WJC 61450
2004 Russia U18 644831
2005 Russia WJC 6371016
2005 Russia WC 90448
2006 Russia WJC 6 4 6 10 12
2006 Russia WC 73696
2006 Russia Oly 724631
2007 Russia WC 955106
2010 Russia Oly 43360
2010 Russia WC 5 5 2 7 10
Junior int'l totals 3017254261
Senior int'l totals 4118244261
Total 71354984122

References Edit

  1. Smizik, Bob. "Penguins' bar rises", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2008-09-17. Retrieved on 2009-04-22. 
  2. Molinari, Dave. "Oh, for good 'ol golden nicknaming days of yore", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2006-10-29. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Malkin earns rookie honours", CBC Sports, 2006-11-02. Retrieved on 2009-04-22. 
  4. Anderson, Shelly. "Hockey easier than English for Malkin", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2007-11-30. Retrieved on 2009-04-22. 
  5. "Senators-Penguins Preview",, 2008-04-09. Retrieved on 2009-04-22. 
  6. "Penguins lock up Evgeni Malkin, Brooks Orpik", CBC Sports, 2008-06-03. Retrieved on 2009-04-22. 
  7. Rossi, Rob. "Crosby not worried about puck", Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 2008-10-20. Retrieved on 2008-10-28. 
  8. "Full voting results for the 2008 NHL Awards". 
  9. "NHL Award and All-star Voting". 
  10. "Malkin To Undergo Knee Surgery Thursday; Rehab Period Will Be Six Months", Pittsburgh Penguins, 2011-02-09. 
  11. Pierre LeBrun. "With Evgeni Malkin out, what now for Pens?", ESPN, 2011-02-05. 
  12. Malkin sits down for interview with TSN. The Sports Network (2006-08-19). Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved on 2009-04-22.
  13. Allen, Kevin (2006-09-06). Russian phenom finally signs with Penguins. USA Today. Retrieved on 2009-04-22.
  14. "Russian club seeks to stop Malkin from playing in NHL", CBS SportsLine, 2006-10-19. Retrieved on 2009-04-22. 
  15. "Legal Challenge Against Malkin Fails", The Sports Network, 2006-11-15. Retrieved on 2009-04-22. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. 
  16. Duhatschek, Eric (2006-11-15). Penguins get to keep Malkin. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved on 2009-04-22.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Anderson, Shelly. "Malkin: English no longer foreign tongue", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2007-10-13. Retrieved on 2009-04-22. 
  18. "NHL News Malkin top star for February", National Post, 2008-03-04. Retrieved on 2009-04-22. 
  19. Molinari, Dave. "Goal 87 for No. 87 was quite a rarity", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2007-11-26. Retrieved on 2008-07-28. 

External links Edit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Marc-André Fleury
Pittsburgh Penguins first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Sidney Crosby
Preceded by
Alexander Ovechkin
Winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy
Succeeded by
Patrick Kane
Preceded by
Alexander Ovechkin
Winner of the Art Ross Trophy
Succeeded by
Henrik Sedin
Preceded by
Henrik Zetterberg
Winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy
Succeeded by
Jonathan Toews

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