Questions are being asked after Evgeni Malkin’s father, Vladimir, spoke with Russian newspaper Sovetsky Sport and claimed that the Dallas Stars offered his son an even bigger contract than the eight-year, $76-million extension he signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins in June.
Per Pensburgh, here’s a translation of that part of the interview:
Q: So could Malkin have gone to a different team?
A: You know, Dallas was offering my son an even bigger contract than Pittsburgh, and Zhenya (Russian nickname for Evgeni) responded “No, I don’t want to go there.” They signed Sergei Gonchar. His best friend is playing there. Why not take it?
Zhenya said “If at some point things don’t work out with the Penuins and I have to leave, I’d rather go to the New York Rangers or Montreal Canadiens. There are several clubs. But I’m not rushing to Dallas. And I wouldn’t like the change of moving my house and going somewhere else. I got used to Pittsburgh, the city and the team.”
My son’s nature is such that he doesn’t like to hop from place to place. As a father, I think, if the player – a big star, often spends his entire career with the same NHL team. Same as Datsyuk, Crosby, Ovechkin. There are many examples. And if you start running then you can’t stop. What good is that?
Now, obviously, if the Stars offered Malkin a contract without the Penguins’ knowledge, that was tampering, since he was still under contract to Pittsburgh. What’s also possible (and we’d have to think more likely) is that the offer was made as part of a trade discussion between the two teams.
For now, let’s just wait and see if anyone clarifies the situation.