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Pens Points: Malkin Responds

Malkin responds to swirling trade rumors while preparing for World Championships. That and more in today’s Pens Points.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

With the Penguins out of the playoffs, we have to wait another week or so before talking about some of our favorite players again once the IIHF World Championships begin in Slovakia. It may be considered a second rate tournament in the eyes of many but it will be interesting to see how some Penguins participating respond to a lackluster end to their season.

Catch up on the latest team news in today’s Pens Points...

For the first time, Evgeni Malkin has directly responded to questions about the rumors surrounding his future with the team. Speaking to Russian media as he prepares for the World Championships, Malkin stated that he is not surprised by the rumors and admitted this season was a failure. [Pensburgh]

Every year that ends without the Penguins winning a Stanley Cup, the same trade rumors bubble to the surface. Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel always seem to be the main focus of these rumors, but they miss discussing several key hurdles that present themselves in real trade negotiations. [Pensburgh]

Former player turned analyst Colby Armstrong gave his two cents on the prospect of the Penguins trading away Evgeni Malkin. Safe to say, Armstrong thinks there are many different ways the Penguins can improve that don’t involve shipping Malkin out of town. [Trib Live]

It’s not even a month into this Penguins offseason and it already feels exhausting just from reading all the rumors that have been floating around the team since their elimination. With so much happening and still much more to come, it can be overwhelming trying understand what all is taking place. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

An early playoff exit does not mean the season is over for some of the Penguins players. A handful have already tossed their name in the pot to play in the IIHF World Championships later this month. The latest entry form the Penguins squad is forward Jared McCann who will represent Canada for the first time in his career. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

With the World Championships still a week away, players have joined their respective national teams to practice and prepare for the tournament. In total, seven players from the Penguins roster are scheduled to take part. [Penguins]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Leading 2-1 in their series against the Colorado Avalanche, the San Jose Sharks could be close to welcoming back a pretty significant part of their lineup. Captain Joe Pavelski could return to the lineup this series after going down with a head injury in Game 7 of the first round. [NHL]

It’s not really the playoffs until Brad Marchand makes headlines for borderline conduct against an opponent. During Tuesday night’s Game 3 in Columbus, Marchand was caught punching a defenseless player in the back of the head after play had stopped. No penalty was called and no suspension is forthcoming. [ESPN]