On Monday, Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin was awarded the Kharlamov Trophy as the most valuable Russian NHL player. During the resulting press conference, Malkin was asked about the Olympics and Vladimir Putin.
In both of his responses, he brought up Alex Ovechkin.
Pavel Datsyuk told SovSport recently: “I believe, closer to the New Year’s, the NHL will allow the players go to the Olympics.” Do you have such belief?
Evgeni Malkin: “All players think about it and dream about playing in the Olympics. I am not an exception. I will join Pasha [Datsyuk in thinking] hope dies last. Let’s believe in the best.”
Have you ever received a phone call on your mobile phone from president Vladimir Putin?
Do you talk with Pittsburgh owner Mario Lemieux about this [Olympics] subject?
Evgeni Malkin: “Right now it’s vacation time. When the training camps open,and I return to America, then we’ll have meetings. I will try to talk to Lemieux and the players – with Crosby. We also have some Finns and Swedes who get called up to their national teams. I will listen to their opinions.
“I am not going to declare that I will go to PyeongChang regardless, like Ovechkin did. I don’t want to make big declarations. Yes, I will make every effort. But if I am threatened with lifetime ban or contract nullification – I will think [about it]. And for now I will not make any declarations.”
Translation by Igor Kleyner.
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