February 25, 2012; Pittsburgh,PA, USA: Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz (14) and center Evgeni Malkin (71) celebrate after Kunitz scored a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pens won 8-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE
Evgeni Malkin has agreed to play in the KHL if the NHL locks out the players.
Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeni Malkin has agreed to a lockout deal with the Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League, according to Dennis Bernstein of The Fourth Period. Malkin played with the club from 2003-2006 prior to joining the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL for the 2006-2007 regular season.
During his three years with Metallurg, Malkin registered 36 goals and 55 assists for a total of 91 points in 132 games played. Largely considered the team's best player, the club filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NHL and the Penguins when he left to join Pittsburgh in 2006. The charge was ultimately dismissed by the United States District Court in the southern district of New York.
With the threat of labor uncertainty hanging over the 2012-13 NHL season, players have begun discussing alternative plans if the NHL owners and player's association can not come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement by the Sept. 15 deadline.
According to league commissioner Gary Bettman, the league will lockout the players if a new deal is not in place.