David Morehouse gave Jim Rutherford a mandate (that came from the top) less than 24 hours after the Penguins were eliminated by the New York Rangers that there would be no discussion internally of trading Evgeni Malkin. To do that before conducting any off-season evaluation of the team, organization raised some red flags immediately around the league as to what’s really going on.
Days later the Penguins on their official website were touting a headline, Malkin wants to be a Penguin for life.
Now it’s all come into the clear with the Penguins potentially for sale as Penguins ownership views having Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin as more valuable to a prospective buyer.
There’s no chance Malkin gets moved this summer due to the team being in play but that isn’t stopping chatter of Malkin not being happy, despite the face he puts on publicly.
Rob Rossi of the Trib has been hinting at Malkin possibly wanting a change of scenery for a while now and one prominent NHL Insider says the rumors of Malkin wanting a change of scenario aren’t going away.
Here’s what Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s had to say about the situation, via TodaysSlapshot.com
[“When you get knocked out of the playoffs and the day after your president comes out and says, ‘Look, we’re no t firing Mike Johnston, we’re not firing Jim Rutherford, we’re not trading Evgeni Malkin, and we’re not trading Sidney Crosby. Now I can understand you coming out and saying the first two, but why would you need to say the next two. Why do you have to tell everybody we’re not trading Malkin or Crosby,” Friedman said.
” And that’s when the sale rumors went wild. Because are the Pittsburgh Penguins a more valuable team to buy with Crosby and Malkin in the lineup or out of the lineup. And I think the answer is b. So that’s when everybody started to say, ‘Okay, something is going on here.
“And look – they’re not trading Crosby. But I will tell you this – there have been rumors about Malkin’s happiness. About whether or not he wants to stay. I think that was directed exactly at them. I have no idea if the Penguins are going to trade Malkin. I would suspect no until a sale gets done. But I can tell you this – there are people around the league who have been saying they’ve been hearing rumors Malkin is not happy and would welcome a change of scenery.
“So you never know if that’s just a frustration thing and they just say, ‘We’re going to deal with it and handle it internally.’ Or if it would ever happen. But it’s not happening right now while the team is on the market.”]