Well, Malkin has changed his mind and has decided to stay in Russia this season. To say that I'm extremely disappointed and downright pissed would be an understatement.
MOSCOW -- Russian teenager Evgeni Malkin will not play in the National Hockey League this season after agreeing to a new contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
Metallurg said that Malkin, the Pittsburgh Penguins' No. 1 pick in 2004, had annulled his previous contract with the Russian Superleague club, which would have kept him in Magnitogorsk through April 2008. Instead, he has agreed to a new one-year deal after which he will become a free agent.
Malkin, who has never played for Pittsburgh, had stated his desire to join the NHL this year, saying he wanted to prove himself at a higher level.
His agent said that the Russian, who turned 20 last week, had even signed an entry-level contract with the Penguins.
But Metallurg said that meeting club president Viktor Rashnikov Malkin had changed his mind.
Metallurg had no intention of releasing its most prized asset after Russia refused to sign a transfer agreement with the NHL last week.
Under the old agreement Magnitogorsk would have received a basic $200,000 fee for Malkin while his Russian club wanted at least 10 times more.
The talented center, who has already been compared with Pittsburgh owner, the great Mario Lemieux, has been the most sought-after player by the NHL this year.
Pittsburgh drafted Malkin second overall in 2004 behind fellow Russian Alexander Ovechkin, who took the NHL by storm last season, winning the Calder Trophy as the best rookie.
The Penguins wanted to unite Malkin with another teenage sensation Sydney Crosby, who finished second behind Ovechkin in the voting for rookie of the year award.