TSN’s Bob McKenzie – the most plugged-in hockey pundit on the planet – doubts the Penguins will deal Eveni Malkin to L.A. for a package that includes the Kings’ number two overall draft pick.
McKenzie points out that Malkin is under contract for another season in Pittsburgh. So there’s no urgency to sign/trade him or Jordan Staal – a choice Penguins gm Ray Shero could face next June.
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Rick Westhead, the astute Toronto Star writer who broke the story on NHL revenues, reports the new Russian Super league will make Malkin an offer he can’t refuse:
$12.5 million per season – tax free … plus all the chicken Kiev he can eat.
The offer is equivalent to $15 million per in the U.S. and Canada, communist countries where millionaires are expected to pay taxes.
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The Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek, another plugged-in guy, says Patrick Marleau will stay in San Jose, but the Sharks may trade the negotiating rights to Brian Campbell.
Campbell, for whom San Jose traded its first-round pick to Buffalo, is a UFA on July 1 and there are reports – denied by gm Doug Wilson – that contract talks with the Sharks have gone nowhere.
Puck-moving defencemen are a rare and highly-coveted breed in the NHL. Campbell will make a fortune on the free-agent market.
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What’s Glen Sather up to?
The New York Post reports the Rangers gm will make no effort to sign his team’s impending UFAs before July 1.
The Rangers will enter free agency potentially minus first- and second-line wingers and a No. 1, first-pair
defenseman. Their UFAs will be Jaromir Jagr, Martin Straka, Sean Avery, Brendan Shanahan and Michal Roszival.