Saturday, August 12, 2006

Evgeni Malkin Goes AWOL

The plot thickens... as Russian Hockey star


I'll give you just one guess as to... where he's going to reappear.
A source with Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk told Russian news agency Itar-Tass that Malkin has fled from the team's training camp in Finland.

"Malkin secretly left the club, taking his belongings and his passport," the source said.

Earlier in the week, he and Metallurg annulled a previous contract that would have had him play through April 2008. He instead signed a one-year deal.

The talented Russian, 20, has often stated a desire to play in the NHL. But the Russian club refused to sign a transfer agreement with the NHL earlier this month.

"His wish is to play in the NHLand in Pittsburgh, ," his agent J.P. Barry said earlier this week.

"We will continue to talk to him about his future, and we will decide the best course for him at this time."

Malkin was the second player selected in the 2004 draft, behind fellow Russian Alexander Ovechkin, who beat out Canada's Sidney Crosby to win the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.

If Malkin is attempting to defect, he would be the best-known hockey player to do so since Alexander Mogilny left the Soviet team following the world junior championships in Sweden in 1989. Mogilny defected to the United States and joined the Buffalo Sabres.

(my emphasis)

Man, the dude sure can play hockey as the video, complete with cheesy Russian heavy metal music below attests. Size, speed, shot, puck handling and toughness, Malkin appears to be the complete package. Apparently he even has the ability to... disappear.

If he is indeed headed to Pittsburgh and the NHL as all signs seem to indicate in this very convoluted saga then the Pens have one hell of a young team forming with the likes of Crosby, Malkin and Staal all coming in at relatively the same time. Obviously they could be a real exciting team here very shortly.

Then again, this Malkin saga could very easily have many more twist and turns left in it before it's all over. So, stay tuned.

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