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Evgeni Malkin talking to KHL teams about lockout contract

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
Evgeni Malkin is talking to KHL teams in case of an NHL lockout. (Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin is talking to KHL teams about playing in the league during a potential NHL lockout.

Reports initially started to surface on Monday that suggested Malkin already agreed to play for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, his hometown team. Before he came to the NHL during the 2006-07 season Malkin spent three years playing for Magnitogorsk which was then part of the Russian Super League.

Malkin's agent, J.P. Barry, has since told Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he has had discussions with Magnitogorsk and unspecified teams in Moscow about a potential "week-to-week" contract that would allow Malkin to play in the event of an NHL work stoppage but that nothing has been finalized.

The NHL's current collective bargaining agreement expires on September 15 and if no deal is reached by then the league has already said it will lock the players out. The two sides are scheduled to meet again on Tuesday.

Malkin is coming off one of the best performances of his career during the 2011-12 season, winning his second Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer, while also taking home his first MVP award.

He finished with 50 goals, a new career high, and 109 points.

He still has two years remaining on his current contract with the Penguins that will pay him $8.7 million per year. Unless something completely unexpected happens between now and then he will probably be getting a new contract next summer, as soon as he's eligible to sign one, (perhaps similar to the one Sidney Crosby signed earlier this summer) to remain with the Penguins.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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