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Pens Points: Malkin to Join Russia at the Worlds

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Good morning one and all,

GM Jim Rutherford will address the media today at 11 am. As long as it's not a 1 pm gig to tell us a tree fell on someone, I'm excited to hear what he's got.

*A successful modern-day NHL GM needs to be ruthless, smart and rational. A really good read. [G&M]

Interesting thoughts from Elliotte Friedman, who suggested the Pens have to at least explore trading Malkin and what a return might be. I respect him, but no thanks. [Sportsnet]

*Crosby and Malkin are not the reason the Penguins have salary cap issues. They play for less they would make on the open market and contribute more than commensurately to their pay. [CBS Sports]

The NHL life of Derrick Pouliot has just begun, and we liked what we saw. There is much to improve, but there is much to build on as well. [Trib]

Olli Maatta, Kris Letang and Pascal Dupuis all hope things have nowhere to go but up. As do we. [Trib]

The Washington Capitals closed out the New York Islanders in game 7, 2-1. A recap and series impressions. [Japer's Rink]

The Lightning beat the Red Wings in Detroit to force a game 7. [ESPN]

The Wings may be without Niklas Kronwall, who will face a hearing for his thundering hit on Nikita Kucherov. [CBS Sports]

The Norris Trophy finalists have been announced. I don't understand why they wait till the end of the season. They could have told us in October to await the inevitable selection of Doughty, Karlsson, and Subban. [NHL]

As the first round of the playoffs nears the end, several national teams will get a boon of stars joining their Worlds squads. All eliminated in the past couple of days, Malkin, Tarasenko and Kulemin will play for Russia. [IIHF]

I don't know if we missed this, but Gary Bettman projects the 2015-16 NHL salary cap to be $71.5M. [The Score]