Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Malkin: Returning to Russia Or Turning Screws on Pens?

1) From what we have read/heard from various sources around the league (and we have previously reported) the stories that Malkin would settle for a contract extension with the Pens for LESS than what Crosby signed last spring are erroneous to say the least. Its not to say that Evgeny wants out of Steel Town (as he actually expressed prior to his arrival 2 summers ago http://newfaux.blogspot.com/2007/08/malkin-still-wants-trade.html ), but he does NOT feel he should be paid less than market value.

2) So what exactly IS market value for a Hart Finalist who is about to start the final of his 3 year entry level deal? Well, "think about what his country-men Alex Ovechkin got (9.5 mil) and go from there" is how one agent told us over this past weekend. He isn't Malkin's agent, but knows his agent/the facts well. He tells FAUXRUMORS exclusively (but of course anonymously) that Malkin will use whatever leverage he has to extract as many dollars from Pittsburgh. Not because he's necessarily a greedy bastard, but because he feels he's earned/deserves it!

3) If that means using offers from the 'new' Russian Continental league (where its rumored he was offered a 12 mil (USD) tax free, which is in excess of 15 mil) then so be it. We have been led to believe that Geno likes the states much more than he thought he would, so he'd prefer to stay here, but if things don't begin to coalesce and a new extension bear fruit that pays the star center in excess of 10 mil, look for the 'rumours' that he may return to 'mother Russia' to intensify. Without an enforceable transfer agreement it is actually possible for Malkin to leave as soon as next season if he desired, but we're told that is highly unlikely. Malkin intends to live up to his deal, and hopes that having yet another stellar season will further enhance his value.

4) To review, a player under the current CBA can NOT receive a salary that exceeds 20% of the salary cap maximum. In the first year of this CBA with a salary cap max of 39 mil, that individual max was 7.8 mil. With the expected rise to 56 mil for the next season that individual max will balloon to 11.2. If, as many project,the cap rises further to 60 mil for the 2009-2010 season(the first under an extension for Malkin) the individual max could be 12 million! Can/would the Penguins(or any team) afford to pay one player that amount? If Malkin has yet another Hart-worthy season the answer could be affirmative for a rival team, but with Pitt having other players top consider(Crosby) down the road they may have little choice but to trade his rights if that occurs. It will be interesting to see how things unfold the next few months. Ray Shero clearly has his work cut out for him. Yдача as they would say in Russia(Good luck!)
By the way, does anyone still believe the owners won the last CBA war?


The Dark Ranger said...

Business is business....a deal is never a deal...Malkin & his agents should use every issue the NHL is dealing with now to open his negotiation in advance. Not to suggest he shouldn't play out the last year of his contract, but instead use the performance of a Star-Player this season coupled with the NHL/Russian leverage of today to solidify a better deal beginning now or next year.

It's inevitable that Malkin will stay and will command big dollars comparable to Ovechkin and Crosby. The limited window is on his side.

nice post, faux.

Ron said...

To answer your question it looks like the players won the lastbattle with the owners afterall.
As far as Geno is concerned I trust what I hear in the papers. If they say he will accept a 5 year deal that pays him about 7 million I believe them. I can't see Malkin holding out for more than what Ovechkin got. He seems like a good kid. Of course money changes people so I guess we'll have to wait and see.


1) Dark: The pens actually are not allowed to officially start contract extension talks with Malkin until July 1st(1 year prior to the expiration of an existing contract) That said, they would be best served to NOT wait until the season starts:
a) It will be a distraction
b) If he has another great year his asking price will only go up (see Capitals error with Ovechkin)
c) The longer they wait, the more likely a Russian team will be able to persuade young Geno that 'there is no place like home,' especially with 15 million in your pocket every year!
2) Ron: As dark mentions, this is business. We fully expect Malkin will honor this deal, but beyond that he has no ties to Pittsburgh that could keep him there if he wants to go back home for more money?
3) The only thing the NHL can offer him is the knowledge that he is among the best of the best. So its more an ego thing than a money issue at this point

Hooks Orpik said...

We'll see about Malkin Faux...We'll see.

Also, the owners won the CBA war, but they're their own worst enemies. As we know, owners have their cost certainty, players only make a set portion of the revenue. I'd like to see a study between the average rate of ticket increases and the salary cap rising. It's probably about the same, as owners are basically just passing this along to the fans.


1) Many would disagree with you Hooks. Yes, the players get a fixed % (57 now), but with players salaries ABOVE the pre-lockout levels, how can one say they lost? Of course admittedly they did lose a year's income.
No longer can teams like Nashville/DC have payrolls of 15 mil, but now are forced to at least stay at a floor
2) You are 100% correct though that the owners biggest issue both before and after the lockout has been among themselves. They simply used the players as an easy excuse to avoid the nagging issues of income disparity among the 30 teams (revenue sharing)
3) Does the NHL want to adopt an NFL or MLB type system? They apparently opted for the ladder, and the poorer teams are still losing money despite the cap
4) The result? We will see another labour war in 4 years. The owners at minimum will ask to reduce the players % from 57 to 53 or so. At most we could see a hard line group push for the elimination of guaranteed contracts! Most now say that will never happen. How many thought the players would cave on a cap 4 years before that CBA expired? The (some) owners may smell blood.
5) Meanwhile, as you correctly point out, almost all increases in revenue are from higher ticket prices. Another reason to ask why did we have a lockout? Bettman (lied) said that the lockout was partially to make the game more affordable to the fans. Is it?

Pablo said...

¿Quién el jode los cuidados que ganaron el último argumento con el jugador y el dueño? Nosotros el ventilador es el que lo consigue en el asno cuando tenemos que pagar por billete. Esto no cambiar hasta que nadie vaya ya


1) No habla pablo. LOL This is an English-only blog. ; )

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