The Dallas Stars denied that they tampered with Pittsburgh Penguins star Evgeni Malkin after a Russian report raised some questions.
Malkin’s father told Sovietsky Sport that the Stars offered his son a bigger contract than the Penguins, who signed the centre to an eight-year, US$76-million deal in June. The comment was particularly strange because Malkin has a year left on his previous contract with Pittsburgh and has never been an NHL free agent.
It was enough to prompt the Stars to release a statement Tuesday.
“We have seen the reports that have surfaced out of Russia claiming that we have tampered and they are completely untrue,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said. “The Dallas Stars organization respects and adheres to all rules and regulations set forth by the National Hockey League and any report that claims otherwise is false.”
Malkin’s father also said if his son even left the Penguins, it would be for the New York Rangers or Montreal Canadiens. The Stars came up because Malkin’s friend and former teammate Sergei Gonchar was traded there.
“There were never any discussions with anyone except Pittsburgh,” Malkin’s agent, J.P. Barry said in an email. “In fact, the negotiations proceeded very smoothly and there was never any concern that he wouldn’t finalize an extension with the Penguins.”
Malkin is signed with the Penguins through the 2011-12 season, and he’ll make $9.5 million each season beginning in 2014-15.