Malekin ‘looks strong, fit, hungry’ penguins at age 36

Cranberry, Pennsylvania – Yevgeny Malkin He trusts his game. So do the Penguins of Pittsburgh.

But if some doubt the 36-year-old centre, he said he would welcome the chance to prove them wrong.

“I believe in myself,” Malkin said as he opened the training camp on 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 match.”

After agreeing to a four-year contract worth $24.4 million (average annual value of $6.1 million) on July 12, Malkin’s goal has not changed. He hopes to reach the Stanley Cup Final for a fifth time, to win the Stanley Cup for a fourth.

“I am happy to be here and enjoy a great organization and a great team,” Malkin said. “We are focused on qualifying for the final again, try to win.”

Malkin could have been in a better position than he was a year ago, when he missed training camp after off-season knee surgery. He returned to Russia before leaving to train in Miami this off season. He rested on his knee, which kept him until Jan. 11 last season before collecting 42 points (20 goals, 22 assists) in 41 games, and left early for Pittsburgh for a casual sled lead into camp.

“I’m still focused on my knees, it’s the most important thing right now,” Malkin said. “I feel good. I think I relaxed a bit this summer.”

Malkin, who is entering his 17th season in the National Hockey League, said he won’t be able to fully test his condition until the Penguins begin the regular season against the Arizona Coyotes at the PPG Paints Arena on October 13.

Whatever the case, Malkin doesn’t think he’s lost many strides. defenseman Chris Letang He feels the same and says the penguins would have made the mistake of letting two owners go.

Whatever you would have done to replace it, you would lose that trade-off,” said Letang. “To have him by our side and be able to watch what he does every night, he’s a magician there. He does things no one else can do. You want him on your team.”

Malkin and Letang, 35, are the three oldest individuals in Pittsburgh. Sidney CrosbyAt 35, he’s the youngest but will play his 18th season in the National Hockey League, more than his longtime teammates. Malkin sees no backsliding in Crosby or Letang. Crosby scored 84 points (31 goals and 53 assists) in 69 games last season. Letang scored 68 points in the National Hockey League (10 goals and 58 assists) in 78 games.

“Age is nothing. We have a lot of experience. This is important,” Malkin said. “New guys here, guys, we’re trying to help them. Leadership, this group. What we’ve done in the last 16 or 17 years, nothing has changed much. Just be a leader, be strong and be positive too. We know it’s not easy. Every team is trying to beat.” We have to. We try to focus in every game, play right, and try to help the team win.”

This essence has led Pittsburgh to appear in 16 consecutive Stanley Cup playoffs, the longest active streak in the NHL. A winning culture is a reason forward Brian Rust And the Ricard Raquel He chose to come back on new contracts, Malkin said.

“I think we have a good squad and I think most players want to stay here because they know we have a chance to win,” Malkin said. “This is a professional organisation. We work here every day. We work to win. New guys are signing here, they want to stay here for a long time because they have a chance to win. I’m glad we signed.” [Letang]We signed up with Rakell. Something amazing.”

With the new contracts, Malkin, Crosby and Letang are likely to be together for at least three more seasons. Letang agreed to a six-year contract worth $36.6 million (US$6.1 AAV) on July 7.

For Penguins coach, Mike Sullivan, keeping these three together has always been the best option.

“We have, in my opinion, the best core I’ve ever had,” Sullivan said. “These guys are driven to win. They’re hungry. You can see that in their snowboard fitness coming out of day one here. I know they’re excited.”

“[Malkin] looks strong. It is decent. It is in good condition. He is hungry.”

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