Evgeni Malkin signs with Pittsburgh
Originally posted Monday June 19 10:01 PM
From Sport Express, just a short while ago:
19-year-old Team Russia forward Evgeni Malkin has signed a three-year contract with the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.
According to Sergei Isakov, an agent for Malkin (who has also represented Alexander Ovechkin), Evgeni has signed for the maximum amount allowed for a rookie.
As part of his preparations for next season, Malkin will begin training with Metallurg Magnitogorsk (his former team over in Russia). "I intend to leave for overseas during the first few days of August", Malkin told Sport Express correspondent Aleksandr Shapiro.
UPDATE - June 21
An item appearing today in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette denies the report of Malkin's signing, while at the same time confirming the details of the deal as contained in the Russian report and acknowledging that the signing is only a matter of time:
The Penguins shouldn't have any trouble working out a contract with center Evgeni Malkin. But contrary to reports out of Russia yesterday, they haven't done it yet.
Mostly because they are not allowed to, and won't be until all parties -- the NHL, the International Ice Hockey Federation and the Russian Hockey Federation -- formally sign the transfer agreement that clears the way for Malkin, and other Russian players, to come to North America.
Although owners of teams in the Russian Super League unanimously endorsed the transfer agreement Friday, NHL clubs are barred from signing players like Malkin, the Penguins' No. 1 draft choice in 2004, until the relevant documents are signed.
The Web site for Malkin's Super League club, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, carried a story yesterday saying that Malkin has agreed to a contract with the Penguins.
That is, at least, a bit premature, although there isn't much suspense about the contract Malkin will receive once negotiations begin. It will be for three years -- the NHL's labor deal mandates for those for entry-level players -- and should pay him $984,2000 per season, the maximum allowed by the collective bargaining agreement for players in his draft class.
Malkin, 19, also will be eligible for a signing bonus of up to 10 percent of his salary and some other bonuses, most based on performance.
I think the Pittsburgh paper is splitting hairs at this point. Since Malkin probably won't actually put pen to paper until he arrives in the U.S. in August, he can have an agreement with the Penguins and in effect be "signed" regardless of the technicalities.
If I remember correctly, when Ovechkin reached his contract agreement with the Capitals last summer, it was announced that he had finally "signed" with the NHL. Then, when he actually put his name in ink on the contract after his arrival on these shores sometime afterwards, that was announced also.
UPDATE 8/8/06 - "Malkin's agent, Sergei Isakov, asserted last week that Malkin 'back in the beginning of June had signed the standard three-year rookie contract with Pittsburgh'." Gazeta.ru 8/7/06