The other day on Hockey Central Nick Kypreos made it known that he thinks that this will be that last season that Evgeni Malkin spends with the Pittsburgh Penguins. You can view it below. In my humble opinion, I think that Kypreos and MacLean are out to lunch on this one and it’s probably why they’re sitting behind a desk on a TV set rather than a desk at the offices of an NHL team.
Kypreos is pretty sold on this being the best time EVER to move Malkin. An off-season where the salary cap is going to stay around $71M and with an expansion draft looming… Okay then.
This isn’t an official rumour or anything. It’s just me pondering aloud. But as it always does with any fan of hockey, the wheels got turning on what it would take for the Oilers to acquire a player like Malkin IF he were to waive his no-movement clause. I mean just for shits and giggles of course. The Russian IS one of the best players in the world today. Definitely better than everybody on the Edmonton Oilers not named Connor McDavid.
In the last 5 years in a group of all players who have played 4000 minutes or more, he has the 2nd best 5×5 pts/60 in the league with 2.62. He trails only Jamie Benn in that regard as the Dallas Star has 2.63 pts/60. Taylor Hall has 2.27 pts/60 and Eberle has 2.19 pts/60.
If we go to his stats on the powerplay, using 1000 minutes played over the last five years and amongst forwards, Evgeni Malkin is GF/60 is 8.39 putting him 7th in the league. Apparently there have been no Oilers to play 1000 minutes on the PP, so I changed that to 500 minutes and the first name to come up in the GF/60 category was RNH, then Eberle, and finally Hall. Nuge came out with a 7.77 GF/60, Ebs had a 6.99 GF/60, and Hallsy a 6.81 GF/60.
The Oilers need more goals on the powerplay!! It’s almost pitiful that Hall and Eberle can’t outscore players like Mike Fisher, Frans Nielsen, and Brayden Schenn with the man advantage.
*Interesting note. The no.1 player on the PP GF/60 list I was using is upcoming UFA Troy Brouwer with a 10.25 GF/60!!*
**Another interesting note coming from Walter Foddis is that good GF/60 numbers on the PP is more indicative of a good powerplay team-wise as oppose to individual production.**
Malkin’s CF/60 RelTM sits at 8.60 using the same parameters as the pts/60 above. That puts him in 8th place among forwards in the NHL. The highest Oiler is Taylor Hall who sits at 36th place with a 5.47 and Jordan Eberle (47th) has a 4.66 in that stat.
All stats courtesy of Stats.Hockeyanalysis.com
One of the things that Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean were pontificating upon was whether Malkin is hurt or not. I think he is carrying an injury or two myself. He did have that wrist injury before the playoffs started and he’s been the victim of some chippy plays from the Penguins’ opposition throughout the playoffs. The Sportsnet crew also talked about how he likes to slow the game down and how that could be affecting his performance on a team that looks to be going a million miles an hour effectively vs. the Sharks.
It’s possible, that all of that is true. I’d love to see him in an Oilers uniform centering a Leon Draisaitl and Matthew Tkachuk or a Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall. But the question remains…
Do the Oilers Need Evgeni Malkin?
So those are the pros and cons of Malkin being acquired by the Oilers in my eyes. Surely you could point out more. But the cons as few as they are really outweigh the pros and I’m almost 100% certain that there’s no way that Jim Rutherford would eat the $3M or so per year for it TO work for the Oilers.
Personally I don’t think it’d be a great idea for Edmonton to trade for him IF he’s even on the market because of that contract and to be honest, why would the Penguins even consider dealing him? They’ve got the unicorns flying in full force right now. If anything, it’s MA Fleury that they deal with the emergence of Matt Murray. The Pens can absorb losing Fleury because they’ve got Zatkoff as the no.3 and Tristan Jarry coming up in the AHL. Kypreos and MacLean think that the expansion draft would take care of Fleury but why would you wait and lose him for nothing?
It’s nearly the same argument that is going on in Edmonton. The forward depth is there but because it’s there somebody has to go, right? Well, no. You don’t have to move a Malkin because Nick Bonino is having a good playoffs and has been clicking with Hagelin and Kessel. And conversely, you don’t move Nugent-Hopkins because there’s Draisaitl and McDavid.
If the machine isn’t broken, you generally don’t go looking for things to fix on it right? Unless you’re Kypreos and MacLean who are sounding almost as coherent as MacLean and Maclean.
But one last hypothetical before I leave you.
What if Malkin “only” cost the Oilers one of Leon Draisaitl, Taylor Hall, or Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and say Nail Yakupov or the 4th overall pick, then could/would you flip Malkin to the Canadiens for PK Subban?
You’re probably saying why not just trade the package to the Habs for Subban? I reckon they’d prefer the offense that comes from Malkin than that of Nuge and Yak. I’m sure it’d be different for Hall but is that a way the Oilers could get their hands on the elusive top-pairing right-hander on the blueline?
What do you think? Is there a universe where you’d endorse an Edmonton Oilers trade for Evgeni Malkin?