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‘I don’t miss NHL’ – Malkin

Metallurg's Evgeny Malkin (RIA Novosti / Alexey Kudenko)
Pittsburgh Penguins star, Evgeny Malkin, says he enjoys his stay with Russian side Metallurg Magnitogorsk while the NHL is stalled by the lockout.

­When asked whether he misses the NHL by the Sovetsky Sport journalists, Malkin’s answer was “no”.

“I’m happy with everything in Magnitogorsk,
” he said. “We have a great team. We win a lot. I’m in good shape and get plenty of time on the ice.”   

Malkin has so far earned 33 points (11 goals and 22 assists) in his 24 games for Magnitogorsk, with Metallurg currently sitting fourth in KHL’s Eastern Conference.

“It’s nicer here as I can communicate in Russian with everybody… It’s only calmer in America,” Malkin informed. “I live outside Pittsburgh and I can go for a walk without creating any hype or visit a café. And here everybody is running after me – the World Championship has boosted my popularity. But I try not to deny anyone autographs or photos, especially the kids.”

The 26-year-old stressed that he won’t be playing in Russia till the end of his career as he “doesn’t believes that club owners would destroy the NHL down to rock bottom.”

The teams and the players can’t agree on the terms of income distribution, with the sides currently fighting over a single per cent.

“This 1 per cent is millions of dollars,”
the Russian explained. “But what surprises me is that hockey isn’t the main business for club owners. They are all billionaires and argue with us – those who make living only through sports. I’ve signed a good contract with Magnitogorsk. It’s easier for me. But many guys are now sitting without money.

“We want a decent agreement with the NHL because we have to think about families. Club owners are great guys. I think they could’ve just given up on this 1 per cent and not be so stubborn,” he added.

Last season, Malkin was awarded the Hart Memorial Trophy as the most valuable players in the NHL.

The forward also snatched the MVP award at the 2012 hockey Worlds, leading Russia to champions’ title.