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Malkin raves about “special” opportunity to play in Russia

Oct 27, 2012, 7:12 PM EDT

malkingetty Getty Images

Perhaps jumping back into NHL action would have been ideal for defending Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin, yet Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika caught up with him (and his mentor Sergei Gonchar) to see the bright side of the lockout.

Specifically, Malkin gets the chance to play close to home and for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, the team that helped him develop his all-world skills.

“It is special,” Malkin said, with Gonchar translating. “It is something that [does] not happen very often.”

Like Tyler Seguin in the Swiss A-League, Malkin is starting to heat up in the KHL, scoring nine points in his last three games.

It’s not just the quality of play that’s improving, though.

Gonchar explains how far the NHL’s most prominent overseas competitor has come since the last lockout.

“Playing over here, it’s much more enjoyable now than it was,” Gonchar said. “To be honest with you, I’m enjoying it here. For me, it goes either way [if the entire NHL season is canceled]. I like it here. I enjoy my teammates. We have a great team. So I don’t care.”

It doesn’t sound like players such as Malkin and Gonchar are really struggling to make the best of things, then.

  1. blomfeld - Oct 27, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    MALKIN ROCKS !

    I picked up the entire interview and I do have to admit that it was interesting. Among other things Malkin said … “I personally believe, that U.S. Americans, are unable to do so, because uh, some, people out there, in our nation don’t have maps. and uh… I believe that our education like such as in South Africa, and the Iraq, everywhere like such as… and, I believe they should uh, our education over here”.

  2. ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Oct 27, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Malkin is simply as great a person as he is a player. He went to play in his hometown because it’s his hometown. That type of character comes through when the penguins conditioning coach comes over to Russia and Malkin includes him in family dinners as well other things.

    Great man. Great player. The union and the owners need to get their house in order so the Russian’s aren’t the only people that get to watch him during his prime.

  3. sportsfan69 - Oct 27, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    Who gives a crap? Really?

    • eyeh8goodell - Oct 28, 2012 at 10:26 AM

      Well considering that you took the time to both read this and comment on it, you do.

  4. Jeff - Oct 27, 2012 at 9:39 PM

    Hope he never plays for Pittsburgh again.

    • valoisvipers - Oct 28, 2012 at 12:00 AM

      Well friend, that would be a shame for everyother hockey fan.

      • eyeh8goodell - Oct 28, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        If Jeff is a Pens fan I hope he never watches the Pens again. Nobody would miss him anyway.

  5. mpg44 - Oct 27, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Words like that really show just how much the players seem to care about the fans here and the problem they helped cause here. These players have no clue what and how REAL unions work!!

    • eyeh8goodell - Oct 28, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Here’s a newsflash: these people (and yes, they are people before they are hockey players) don’t live their lives for you. And nor should they. If you want to watch the best in the world play hockey you still can, just for a different league.

      • jimeejohnson - Oct 28, 2012 at 12:55 PM

        Useful idiots for the rich owners can’t do that.

  6. capsfan19 - Oct 28, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Greatest quote from malkin,
    “So geno, how does it feel to be having a successful season? It has shown through the points you’ve been racking up!”
    “Well…… Uhhhhhh…. I am make score goal”
    Welcome to america!

  7. fortwaynekomets - Oct 28, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    I WANT TO ASSASSINATE BETTMAN.

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