It’s been a frisky 24 hours since I talked about the Penguins being open to the idea of trading Evgeni Malkin, then wrote about it at TribLIVE.com. (Click HERE.)
Vitriol directed at me has been savage, personal and non-stop. It’s unique to saying or writing anything perceived to be critical of Malkin. Geno Nation is extremely hard-wired and viciously goes into attack mode when they think their hero is under threat.
But it’s not me that’s willing to trade Malkin. It’s the Penguins.
I didn’t make that up. I spoke with two sources very highly-placed in the Penguins organization.
Malkin was terrible in 2018-19. Let me count the ways:
*Malkin was a team-worst minus-25.
*Malkin led the Penguins in turnovers with 84.
*Malkin led the Penguins in penalty minutes with 89.
*Malkin scored 21 goals, his second-lowest total in a non-lockout season.
*Malkin scored just 12 even-strength goals.
*In terms of puck possession, Malkin was only .27 percent better than the team’s average.
*In terms of scoring chances, Malkin was only .01 percent better than the team’s average.
Too many feel Malkin had a decent year because he averaged over a point per game. That’s absurd. Malkin had a bad season by any standard, let alone his lofty standard.
Malkin has a full no-movement clause. So he will very likely be back in Pittsburgh.
Only Malkin can fix it. But does he want to? Malkin may not even think it's broken.
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