Friday, November 12, 2010

Living in the Shadow of a Superstar

Evgeni Malkin (Евгений Малкин) is the 24-year-old second-line center for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was chosen second overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, but did not start his career until the 2006-2007 season in which he won the Calder Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the league's best rookie. In 2008, he helped his team beat the Detroit Red Wings to win the coveted Stanley Cup.
Malkin came from a family of hockey players. His father, Vladimir, was a defenseman for Metallurg Magnitogorsk (the same team he played his Russian Superleague seasons with) and his brother played in a farm league.
When the 2006-2007 season started, Malkin was stuck in a legal bind with the Russian Superleague which he later side-stepped and signed an entry-level contract with the Penguins. In his first pre-season game, on September 20th, he collided with his own teammate, which dislocated his shoulder and delayed his official debut until October 18th. During that game, he scored his first NHL goal against the New Jersey Devils and became the first player since the 1917-1918 season to score at least one goal in each of his first six games.
In 2009, he became the second Russian-born player (behind Ovechkin) to win the Art Ross Trophy which is awarded to the player who leads the league in scoring points. He had 113. Though he lives in the shadow of Sidney Crosby, the reining Canadian superstar in the NHL, he is well-known for his rumored feud with Ovechkin, who reportedly punched Geno's manager in a Russian night club (Even though they seem to be friends HERE).

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