Penguins GM says Evgeni Malkin not available in trade

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

As unlikely as it seems given salary-cap constraints, a rumor was making the rounds that the Chicago Blackhawks were exploring a trade for Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin. Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said there's nothing to it.

"None. We're not looking to move him. I did not get an inquiry from any team," Rutherford said Tuesday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Malkin will make $9.5 million next season, is signed through 2020-21 and has a full no-trade clause. The money makes it very difficult to find a match in trade and makes it especially difficult to work out something with the Blackhawks, whose cap space has been tight for years.

Both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane carry cap hits of $10.5 million, so having $30 million of the $73 million cap wrapped up in three players doesn't seem realistic. Still, the rumor mill churned.

Rutherford said that Malkin's no-trade clause has nothing to do with the situation.

"Whether he has one or not, he's not an option," Rutherford said, according to the newspaper.

The Penguins are waiting to find out whether Malkin needs surgery for an elbow injury that he revealed had been affecting him down the stretch run to winning the Stanley Cup. Malkin played in only 57 games last season because of upper-body and lower-body injuries. He scored 27 goals and had 58 points.