We're hoping this much ado about nothing - but as of now, there's some cause for concern in the Penguins' organization as something highly unusual happened following their last game before the bye week.
As you may recall, Pittsburgh defeated the Boston Bruins by a score of 6 to 5 in overtime, with Evgeni Malkin providing all the heroics.
Typically, Malkin speaks to the media post-game - as is especially typical of the overtime goal-scorer.
But something else happened this past weekend.
Check out this report from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Jason Mackey.
"Hope Malkin is OK.
He didn’t talk after Sunday’s win, when he scored two goals, including the overtime winner. That’s unlike Malkin or the Penguins.
His equipment was scattered in front of his stall — normally it’s put away — and as reporters gathered around, Kris Letang yelled out, “Something happened” and informed us that Malkin would not be talking.
Was certainly strange, but it also doesn’t mean anything serious. We’ll see."
You can picture the scene. An empty stall where the star Russian should be, his equipment littered all over the floor, and his teammate exclaiming ominously that "something happened".
As Mackey explains, this is not at all a common occurrence for this organization, and as long as there is no info, we try to avoid thinking the worst has happened, whether at a personal or team level.
But the silence, and that particular scenario is rather off-putting and leaves cause for concern.
As Mackey says, hopefully Malkin is okay.
OTHER PENGUINS NEWS
Malkin provided a beautiful picture of his son Nikita with the Stanley Cup online this past week.
There is some controversy over who should have been selected for the All-Star Game this year, with Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang getting the nods. Letang has been nowhere near his excellent self this season, despite his point totals. Crosby admitted himself that he doesn't deserve to be there, but politics were likely involved. As the face of the NHL, he will sell tickets, and get butts into seats.
Phil Kessel and Malkin were more deserving if you ask most fans and media members.
Jim Rutherford revealed the reason behind why he hasn't struck a deal yet. A lot of it has to do with Jake Guentzel's ability to play centre.
“We’re fortunate to have a two-position player, or I would have had to move a lot quicker on trying to get another center,” Rutherford said, according to Mackey. “He’s capable of playing there. We’ll see how it shakes out here in the next little while.”
The market is also just really hard to gauge right now.
“I don’t have a good read on the market right now as to predict when something’s going to happen,” Rutherford added. “Certainly we’re in the mix here, talking to as many teams as we can, seeing who’s available and seeing if there’s anybody out there who can give us a better chance to win.”