CRANBERRY, Pa. — Evgeni Malkin trusts his sport. So do the Pittsburgh Penguins.
But if some doubt the 36-year-old middle, he mentioned he welcomes the danger to turn out them improper.
“I believe in myself,” Malkin mentioned when coaching camp opened Thursday. “I’m still a good player. I believe in myself. I believe in my teammates. I’m here to win. I’ll do my best. I’ll be ready for the first game.”
After agreeing to a four-year, $24.4 million contract ($6.1 million moderate annual price) July 12, Malkin’s objective hasn’t modified. He hopes to succeed in the Stanley Cup Final a 5th time, win the Stanley Cup a fourth.
“I’m glad to stay here and enjoy a great organization, great team,” Malkin mentioned. “We’re focused on making the Final again, try to win.”
Malkin may well be higher arrange than he was once a 12 months in the past, when he neglected coaching camp following offseason knee surgical treatment. He went house to Russia prior to leaving to coach in Miami this offseason. He rested his knee, which held him out till Jan. 11 ultimate season prior to he had 42 issues (20 targets, 22 assists) in 41 video games, and left early for Pittsburgh to take part in casual skates resulting in camp.
“I still focused on my knee, it’s like the most important thing right now,” Malkin mentioned. “I feel fine. I think I rested a little bit more this summer.”
(*36*) his seventeenth NHL season, Malkin mentioned he will not be able to totally check his situation till the Penguins start the common season in opposition to the Arizona Coyotes at PPG Paints Arena on Oct. 13.
No topic what, Malkin does not assume he is misplaced a lot of a step. Defenseman Kris Letang feels the similar and mentioned the Penguins would have made a mistake through letting Malkin cross.
“Anything you would have tried to do to replace him, you would lose that trade-off,” Letang mentioned. “To have him on our side and be able to witness what he does every night, he’s a magician out there. He does things that nobody can. You want him on your team.”
Malkin and Letang, 35, are the oldest of Pittsburgh’s core 3. Sidney Crosby, 35, is the youngest however will play his 18th NHL season, another than his two longtime teammates. Malkin does not see any decline in Crosby or Letang. Crosby had 84 issues (31 targets, 53 assists) in 69 video games ultimate season. Letang had an NHL career-high 68 issues (10 targets, 58 assists) in 78 video games.
“Age is nothing. We have great experience. This is important,” Malkin mentioned. “New guys here, young guys, we try to help them. Leadership, this group. What we’ve done the last 16, 17 years, nothing’s changed too much. Just be a leader, be strong and stay positive too. We know it’s not easy. Every team tries to beat us. We try to focus every game, play right and try to help the team to win.”
That core has led Pittsburgh to 16 instantly appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the longest lively streak in the NHL. The profitable tradition is a reason why forwards Bryan Rust and Rickard Rakell selected to go back on new contracts, Malkin mentioned.
“I think we have a good team and I think most players want to stay here because they understand we have a chance to win,” Malkin mentioned. “This is a professional organization. We work here every day. We work to win. New guys sign here, they want to stay here a long time because they have a chance to win. I’m glad we signed [Letang], we signed Rakell. It’s amazing.”
With new contracts, Malkin, Crosby and Letang are more likely to keep in combination for at least 3 extra seasons. Letang agreed to a six-year, $36.6 million contract ($6.1 AAV) July 7. Crosby has 3 seasons last on a 12-year, $104.4 million contract ($8.7 million AAV).
To Penguins trainer Mike Sullivan, protecting the ones 3 in combination was once all the time the most suitable option.
“We have, in my mind, the best core that I’ve ever been around,” Sullivan mentioned. “These guys are driven to win. They’re hungry. You can see it in their fitness level on the ice coming off Day One here. I know they’re excited.
“[Malkin] appears to be like robust. He’s are compatible. He’s in form. And he is hungry.”