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Malkin, Gonchar practice with KHL club, “likely” to play next week

Sep 14, 2012, 12:42 PM EST

Malkin Gonchar Getty Images

Here’s a development that speaks volumes about the current state of labor relations…

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin and Ottawa’s Sergei Gonchar are currently practicing with KHL club Metallurg Magnitigorsk and are “likely” to play in their first regular season game on Thursday, Sept. 20.

Rumors of the ex-Pittsburgh mates reuniting in Russia broke in early September, when the Ottawa Citizen reported Gonchar had a “standing offer” from Metallurg.

From the Citizen:

When Malkin received the Hart Trophy at the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas in June, he dedicated it to Gonchar. Malkin said that when he joined the Penguins as a rookie in 2006-07, Gonchar served as mentor, translator and cultural adviser.

“He took care of me,” Malkin said in his acceptance speech. “He’s a great guy and an unbelievable player. He’s my best friend here.”

Gonchar also played alongside Malkin with Metallurg Magnitogorsk during the 2004-05 NHL lockout.

The KHL season got underway on Sept. 4, and Metallurg has already played four games (posting a 1-1-2 record). The team boasts a number of players with NHL experience including Cal O’Reilly, Oleg Tverdovsky and Enver Lisin.

It should be noted that, as the NHL lockout became more likely, the KHL released a set of qualifications for incoming NHLers during the work stoppage:

– 150 NHL games played over the last three seasons

– Must have previous KHL experience

– A national team member in one of the last two World Championships, World Junior Championships, or Olympic teams

– A Stanley Cup winner or finalist or an NHL award winner of another kind

Malkin and Gonchar obviously fit the bill, and now one has to wonder what other qualified players might head to Russia once the lockout becomes official.

  1. sjsharks66 - Sep 14, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Malkin is an unbelievable player. So good!

  2. semin28 - Sep 14, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Malkin, what a trader

    • langforc - Sep 14, 2012 at 1:41 PM

      what does he trade?

    • miketoasty - Sep 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM

      It’s traitor, and you can’t expect a guy in the prime of his career to just sit around, waiting for something that may not even happen this year.

      Best of luck to you Malkin and Gonchar and try to stay healthy!

      • bigtexas27 - Sep 14, 2012 at 4:55 PM

        They’ll be healthy as long as they stay off the airplanes

    • crosberries - Sep 14, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      So says the man with semen in his name

  3. sportsfreak13 - Sep 14, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    What’s Russian for F#$&!

    • danphipps01 - Sep 14, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      “Lockout.”

  4. somekat - Sep 14, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    I’m assuming this means, if the owners decide to use replacement players, the NHLPA will shut up and not say anything about it. I mean, it’s ok for NHLPA members to go take someone’s job, why isn’t it ok for someone else to take theirs?

  5. tackledummy1505 - Sep 14, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    I second replacement players. Really if there’s going to be a cap then we have to expect players to take salaries according to the cap. If they can’t take that money then fine go play somewhere else. I really think the players and owners should meet in the middle. Starting at 51% and go down to 49%. That would save all the problems in the world. I understand the players dont want to take a cut, but look here, I take a 8% cut and I make $27,000 dollars a year instead of what I make now as a cop. So my life is on the line, I can’t take a cut like that. Now a contract in the NHL, which is guaranteed (no where else in the world is the player’s contract guaranteed), take a 8% cut and they make $4.5 million, they’re literally making $360,000 dollars less. Seriously, you’re making 4 million dollars. Hello, does anyone else think this is retarded. Owners are always going to cry, but they made a sacrifice back in 2004-05, now the players have to make a little one by coming down around the 50’s. I don’t think it’s picky, I think this is dumb and the only people that are going to hurt from this are the scrappers who need to work cause they don’t make much and the fans. Get r done and now.

  6. malkinrulez - Sep 14, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Somekat let me explain how pro sports works , if a better player is available they play, lesser player is released. I would love to see the attendance at a replacement player NHL game.

  7. spavs412 - Sep 15, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Loved both in pgh geno is a stud he signed my geno rookie jersey lol please be safe geno ur the best in the world right now

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