Evgeni Malkin underwent successful surgery on his right knee.
Malkin is expected to be unavailable for training camp in September. The team expects to have a more definitive time frame for his return at that time.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 4, 2021
Evgeni Malkin Surgery Means He Will Miss Training Camp For 2021-22 Season
According to the Penguins, the 34-year-old was injured on March 16 in a game against the Boston Bruins. The forward was checked into the boards by Bruins defenceman Mark Tinordi. The injury sidelined the forward for 23 games and he was able to return for the final four games of the regular season. However, Malkin was injured again in their final game on a collision with Buffalo Sabres‘ forward Dylan Cozens.
The Russian player missed the first two games of Round 1 of the playoffs against the New York Islanders. He was able to return to play Games 3, 4, 5, and 6 before the Penguins were eliminated. Even injured throughout the four post-season games he dressed in, Malkin still collected one goal and five points during the series.
Pittsburgh also reported that Malkin is expected to be unavailable for training camp in September. The team will evaluate a timetable for his return in the future at that time.
What This Means For The Future
This is good news for the Penguins, even if Malkin is to miss training camp next season. Even though they won the division and made the playoffs without Malkin, he is still an important piece for their team. Malkin is a long-time Penguin and a big part of their leadership core. They have good players who can replace him on the ice but none can replace the natural leader he is.
Next year will be the final year of his current contract with the Penguins and his future with the organization has not been discussed yet. What can be told, however, is that the captain Sidney Crosby would keep Malkin if it was up to him, as he told the media.
“Well, they’ve been saying that for four years, right?” Crosby replied when questioned if it was time to turn the page on him, Malkin and Kris Letang. “So I don’t know if I’ll change anybody’s mind.
“But I think we did a lot of good things this year. You can look every year and analyze it differently, but I think this year we had a good group and did a lot of good things. We easily could have made a run. I feel really confident about this group with the way we were trending and the way we finished out this (regular season). But it’s a fine line in the playoffs.”
Crosby: "This is probably the ultimate learning experience."
Hear the captain following tonight’s game ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/ytabUMq34I
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) May 27, 2021