Pittsburgh Should Trade Malkin to the Leafs? No. Stop it.

A fun little piece ran in the Edmonton Journal earlier today, talking about the Pittsburgh Penguins and the apparent necessity for them to move Evgeni Malkin. Jim Matheson talked about several situations in which the Penguins could move their (other) star centre, and… wait, no. Stop. Don’t drag the Leafs into this…

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The Leafs need a first-line centre, too. Would they go Malkin for Phil Kessel and his $8 million salary and Tyler Bozak? Kessel could play with Crosby.

Ah, crap.

Alright, let’s deal with this and quickly move past it, yeah?

Malkin, 28, is a ridiculously talented centre that has scored 268 goals and 702 points in 587 games since being selected 2nd overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He’s won a Stanley Cup, a Conn Smythe Trophy, two Art Ross Trophies, and a Hart Trophy.

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Why in hell’s name would the Leafs want someone like that when they’re planning on scorching the earth and rebuilding through the draft? It makes about as much sense as Chewbacca living on Endor.


What makes even less sense is trading Phil Kessel for Malkin. While I think most of us recognize that Malkin is probably (and ever so slightly) the better player, can he help Toronto win games in some way that Kessel was unable to? I doubt it.

In Toronto, Malkin would be a one-man show, much in the way that Kessel has been since he became a Leaf. The #1 centre position has been a huge hole for the Leafs since the Sundin days, but trading Kessel for Malkin satisfies one need while creating another. 

And Tyler Bozak… Well, Tyler Bozak can go to Pittsburgh for all I care. That’s fine. No issues there.

If I could suspend disbelief for a moment, then we could have a really amazing conversation about how good Kessel would look lining up beside Sidney Crosby, but Kessel and Crosby combining for 200 points a season and winning Stanley Cups despite all of the Penguins’ other problems certainly doesn’t help the Leafs.

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Point is, while I’m not a member of the Toronto’s front office, I’m going to go ahead and say ‘no thanks’. There’s no reason why the Leafs should be interested in trading for Evgeni Malkin.

Matheson, leave Toronto out of this.

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  • Snizzbone

    I’ve thought of the possibility of trading for Malkin. I personally think Pittsburg would want Kadri+Gardiner and probably some draft picks. I don’t think that Malkin is that significant of an upgrade and it just doesn’t make sense for a rebuilding team.

  • Whats with the made up stupid articles coming out of Toronto? leafs have no trading power….Has that sunk in yet? Build through the draft is the only option. No team wants your players. All you have to trade is a couple of above average young d-man. Why would anyone think Mcdavid would want to come to a disastrous situation like it is in leafland? Whos going to fix this? Shanny? How? Once again people in leafland believe they can win somehow. Another generation is going to have to suffer through the fact that everything they have been told is true….That “The leafs just suck!” Cheers from oil country 🙂 PS..Mcdavid says “Hi”

    • Pretty sure you finished below us in the standings… The leafs may be bad but the oilers have been the laughingstock of the NHL for the last decade. But good for you for feeling so entitled because you won a lottery.

      And to answer your question… Yes Shanahan will fix this because he has a brain. Rebuilds actually work if your management team isn’t clueless.

      P.s. Tyler seguin, Gabriel landeskog, Corey Schneider, Morgan Reilly, Sam Bennett and Devan Dubnyk say hi 🙂

  • Malkin has said that if he is traded anywhere, he going back to Russia. If anyone is traded it’ll be Crosby and probably to the Habs considering they were his favorite team growing up. They also have the best chance of bringing him a cup from all the Canadian teams. For now until the Leafs become a powerhouse with Nylander Jvr Marner Rielly and whoever they draft for the next 3 years 🙂

  • As an Oilers fan and someone who grew up in Edmonton please ignore Jim Matheson. He says random stuff that makes very little sense all the time. He’s a good guy and a descent writer but his proposals and theories often don’t make sense. David Staples and Matt Henderson are much better writers from Edmonton. Please ignore Matheson.

  • Am I the only one that would actually take the Malkin for Kessel and Bozak trade?

    Malkin is surely the best player in this trade. Kessel and Bozak make $12.2M combined vs Malkin’s $9.5M, that is money saved and no more Bozak as top centre.

    Argue that Malkin isn’t a 82 game player because of injuries but should that matter on THIS Leafs team!?

    Who has better trade value, Malkin or Kessel, that’s what I thought, plus you shed Bozak for free. I take the deal.

    Keep Malkin or flip him later, I’d still have Malkin on this current team over Kessel.

    I don’t care about the validity of the article, I’m merely commenting on what was said by Matheson..

    • I’m kinda with you on this idea – not that Pittsburgh would do it of course. But you’d get a better return flipping Malkin for picks and prospects than Kessel/Bozak. So yeah, if you can work it Leafs, fill your boots.