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Pens Points 8/14: Dallas Denies Offer, Meet the New Neighbors

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Here's your collection of Pittsburgh Penguins and NHL news and notes: Stars deny making an offer to Malkin; meet the new members of the Metropolitan Division; which NHL records will never be broken, and more.

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After the comments attributed to Evgeni Malkin's father were made public by a Russian website, Dallas Stars swiftly denied the story. Malkin's agent also chimed in and said the contract negotiations with the Penguins were going swimmingly, so all's well that ends well.

Let's meet the new members of the Metropolitan Division: Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes, and our old friends the Washington Capitals (Sizing Up the Penguins' New Divisional Foes). All three teams are actually projecting to be quite decent next year. Columbus took a step toward respectability by just barely missing a playoff berth. Carolina really suffered in the standings after Cam Ward went down with injury. The Caps will miss Mike Ribeiro mightily, but then Ovechkin might actually try hard all season instead of half a season.

An interesting look at some of the consequences of NHL's capping of entry-level contracts: more and more young European stars are opting to stay in Europe because they can make significantly more money (NHL Could Face a Problem with Entry-Level Stars).

Some writers expect the USA Olympic Hockey Team to provide the truth about the Pittsburgh Penguins. Will they play a solid defensive game, and what can we expect from Bylsma? For my money, I expect team USA to medal on the strength of outstanding goaltending, decent defense, and opportunistic scoring.

There are records, and then there are records (Individual NHL Records that Will Never Be Broken). I don't see any of these records ever being broken, except maybe Gretzky's consecutive game points record. The way assists are recorded nowadays, I could see someone putting in a goal/primary assist/secondary assist every game over 52 games. Otherwise, the rest are just ridiculous.

Gary Bettman doesn't think there are too many outdoor games. He expects them all to be sellouts. What I can assert is that my hotel in Chicago is booked for March 1. I am going to Soldier Field, and I plan on having a great time.