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Malkin’s Undervalued Career

Image: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Malkin Storms Into the NHL

Let’s rewind 16 years to remind hockey fans what the Russian center, Malkin, has accomplished in his decorated career. In his rookie season, (2006-2007) he took the league by storm. Becoming the first player in 89 years to score a goal in his first six games played. The point production remained the same the rest of the season as he tallied (33 goals, 52 assists) for (85 points), the most by a rookie in the NHL that season. Following the completion of the season. He was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s most outstanding rookie, becoming the first Penguins player to do so since Mario Lemieux.


No Sophomore Slump for Malkin

Geno continued to dominate in his sophomore season in (2007-2008) finishing the year with 47 goals and 59 assists, six points shy of his country mate Alex Ovechkin for the Art Ross Trophy. After losing to the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals in the same year, he wasn’t going to settle for second place again. Malkin took home the Art Ross Trophy the next season, putting up 113 points, his career high. Finishing up the business in the regular season for first place, he continued to lead the charge into the playoffs. He tallied 36 points, which remains the most points produced in the playoffs since Wayne Gretzky scored 40 in 1993. His efforts not only helped the Pittsburgh Penguins secure their third Stanley Cup Championship. He was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy, becoming the first Russian born player to do so.

Malkin takes control for the Penguins

The next two seasons he suffered various injuries, playing in 110 games and scoring 114 points. The minor setback once again unleashed a rebirth for Geno as he secured almost every major award given out during the (2011-2012) season. He reached the 50 goal mark for the first and only time in his career while adding 59 assists. Finishing the season as the only player to reach the century mark in points. Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning scored 60 goals, beating him out for the Rocket Richard Trophy. Malkin was awarded the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top point producer for the second time in his career. For the first time, he was awarded the Ted Lindsay Trophy. Sidney Crosby missed almost the whole season with concussion injuries. Malkin elevated his play, earning him the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most outstanding player.

Malkin Ignites Penguins to Back to Back Cups

Averaging over a point per game throughout the Penguins cup drought, Malkin fueled the team for what was to come. The center-men suffered various knee and shoulder injuries, keeping him out of the lineup for some time.  That didn’t prevent the two headed monster from bringing  the cup back to Pittsburgh. During the 2015-16 run, Geno tallied (6 goals, 12 assists) through 23 games played. His playoff production third best on the team behind Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby respectively. The following season Malkin lead the team in playoff production scoring (10 goals, 18 assists) through 25 games played. Captain Sidney Crosby edge him out for the Conn Smythe Trophy, but he was deserving of it. 

New Contract Same Malkin

Excluding the 2018 playoffs, the Penguins have been first round exits since capturing back to back titles. While it was unclear if Malkin would be back for the 2022-23 season, he inked a four year $24.4 million contract extension. Accumulating (21 goals, 35 assits) through 56 games played this season, he looks to lead the Penguins to their 17th consecutive playoff appearance. Looking to break through the first round in five years, Malkin looks to lead the charge to a fourth Stanley Cup Championship. 

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