UPDATE to the Malkin Rumor

Here’s more from Eklund on this crazy rumor… (The only reason I’m posting this is because he was one if not the only guy who had rumored Samsonov signing to Montreal)

“First I must chime in on the “Rumor.” I spent the whole night with Kevin Gibson and we were dodging bullets from angry hockey fans. Rather uncalled for. It is a rumor, and it is circulating in the hockey world. Will it happen? Could it happen? Should it happen? Discussing these kinds of things is what hockey fans have done since time began.

I can verify that when I called some sources, one of them had heard the rumor a day prior to Kevin putting it out and another agent confirmed it “was entirely possible if Montreal upped the ante a bit.”

Why would Pittsburgh move Malkin?

Talking to an agent who has dealt with Shero in his first year the agent said, “Shero comes from the Poile school of thought. And that school, like in Nashville, is not to build with a few superstar players, but rather several solid players. Shero already has one big superstar that will be at the max when his contract comes due. Do two 8 million dollar players worked on a team like Pitsburgh? And then you have the revenue uncertainty off new ownership and no new building yet to take into account. And you also have a team that needs lots of help depth-wise.”

Why would Montreal move all those players for Malkin?

I’ve been talking to some French-Canadian players over the summer. Everyone assumes that they would love to play for the Habs, and although they do there is also an intense pressure on them. One theory is that there has not been a “Superstar” on the Habs since Patrick Roy, and before that Guy LaFleur. Because of the environment in Montreal, the feeling is that the team has lacked that one identity that could shield the other players and allow them to perform at a solid level. Koivu and Kovalev aren’t “that guy.” So now, every kid, especially every French Canadian kid is look at to be “that guy.” The Montreal fans are dying for a star, and once they get a star, the others Habs will immediately become better. Malkin fits this spot perfectly and with all of the uncertainty in Pittsburgh it would not be surprising at all if Montreal is pursuing this.

Will Pittsburgh move him?

I certainly can’t say that I have heard they will. I did hear last year at one point that they put out feelers at one point, and realized that there was a bidding war to be had of “Lidrosesque” proportions…and when the Nordiques traded Lindros they were in a very similar spot to where the Pens are now. They had a star in Sakic and needed depth. They got a lot in that trade from the Flyers including Stanley Cups. It was the defining moment of that franchise. Would they have done that move had Eric not refused to play? Nope. Would they have won the Cups in Colorado? Nope. Would they have moved to Colorado if Lindros would have come right in and played for them? No one really knows that answer…

So should Pittsburgh move Malkin?

I guess if you look at Quebec and Lindros you’d have to say yes. But that assumes a lot as well. And Lindros is such a hot button topic anyway. Should the Flyers have made the trade? I still say they had to. Eric was “the next one.” And in Philly we had gone a long time since having our Bobby Clarke’s and Bernie Parent’s. The Flyers that got Lindros were a lot like the Habs of today. So I can see why both teams have to be thinking about this…Also, the trade would free up the cap space to sign Dumont in Montreal. That scenario didn’t exist way back when.”