Jun 13, 2013, 12:37 PM EDT
You do not trade a player like Evgeni Malkin unless you absolutely have to.
You don’t trade him because the salary cap is going down.
You certainly don’t trade him because of one bad playoff series.
Malkin is only 26 years old. He’s already won a Stanley Cup. He was the named the MVP of the league last year. He’s scored 100-plus points three times.
Actually, when you put it that way, maybe we don’t get why there was speculation.
With Sidney Crosby, Malkin gives the Penguins the most dangerous one-two center combination in the NHL.
“When you have two world-class players like this, you do everything you can to keep them,” said Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero.
Not that Malkin is perfect. He’s in no danger of winning the Selke Trophy, for example. But ask the Toronto Maple Leafs how difficult it is to find an elite center outside of the draft. Ask the Calgary Flames.
There’s no precise blueprint to building a Stanley Cup winner, especially in the salary-cap age where a team can’t have everything. But two world-class centers, a stud defenseman, and a great goalie are the four pieces that typically go at the top of the list.
Pittsburgh has two out of four signed long-term now. Depending how you feel about Kris Letang, there may be the potential to lock up a third. The goalie question is a massive one going forward.
- With Dubinsky locked up, Jackets next task is re-signing Johansen 2
- Lightning sign Brenden Morrow for one year 25
- Jackets sign Dubinsky through 2020-21 39
- AHL’s new overtime rules include 3-on-3 play 27
- Report: Avs, O’Reilly likely headed to arbitration 67
- Armstrong lays out what Blues offered KHL-bound Sobotka 15
- Blues re-sign Ott; Sobotka to KHL? 35
- Devils ink Schneider to reported seven-year, $42 million deal 62
- Big money: Toews, Kane sign eight-year, $84 million extensions 170
- Jets can’t let Kane situation fester much longer 57
- Big money: Toews, Kane sign eight-year, $84 million extensions (170)
- Pros and cons of Subban filing for arbitration (67)
- Report: Avs, O’Reilly likely headed to arbitration (67)
- Boyle wanted Big Apple after playing in ‘nontraditional hockey markets’ of Florida, California (63)
- Devils ink Schneider to reported seven-year, $42 million deal (62)