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Stars, Malkin's camp refute suggestion of Dallas tampering

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TSN.ca Staff
8/13/2013 4:06:49 PM
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Evgeni Malkin's agent J.P. Barry says his client has never thought about playing for another NHL team.

Barry told Rob Rossi of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Tuesday that their negotiations for Malkin's eight-year $76 million contract extension were done smoothly, after a Russian report this week quoted Malkin's father Vladimir saying the Dallas Stars showed interested in his services.

"Ray Shero, David Morehouse, Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux showed a willingness throughout to find a fair structure for both sides," Barry told the paper. "Evgeni was very pleased that this negotiation was concluded amicably as his wishes were always to remain in Pittsburgh."

Also, Evgeni Malkin sent a text message to the Tribune-Review on Tuesday saying he wanted "only to play for Pittsburgh."

In an interview with Russian sports website SovSport translated by Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo! Sports, Vladimir Malkin said that the Dallas Stars offered Evgeni more money than the Penguins this summer.

Evgeni, however, was still under contract with Pittsburgh before signing his contract extension with the team on June 13.

"You know, Dallas offered him a greater deal than Pittsburgh," Malkin - according to Chesnokov - reportedly told SovSport. "And he said, 'No, I do not want to go there.' The Stars had signed Sergei Gonchar. His best friend is out there playing. Why not agree?

"And Geno said he wasn't torn about not going to Dallas. He didn't want to change houses. 'I'm used to Pittsburgh, the city and the team,' he said."

In the SovSport interview, Vladimir Malkin added that Evgeni told him, "if there was ever the case where I have to leave the Penguins, I would rather choose the New York Rangers or the Montreal Canadiens."

The Stars denied any suggestion that they may have tampered with Malkin. "We have seen the reports that have surfaced out of Russia claiming that we have tampered and they are completely untrue," general manager Jim Nill said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The Dallas Stars organization respects and adheres to all rules and regulations set forth by the National Hockey League and any report that claims otherwise is false."

The second overall pick behind Alex Ovechkin in the 2004 NHL Draft won Rookie of the Year in 2007 and has twice captured the Art Ross Trophy given to the NHL's leading scorer. He was named league MVP in 2012 when he collected 109 points and helped carry the Penguins as Sidney Crosby recovered from concussion-like symptoms.

A concussion and a lingering shoulder injury limited him to 33 points in 31 games last season. He bounced back during the playoffs, collecting four goals and 12 assists during Pittsburgh's series wins over the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators.

Evgeni Malkin (Photo: Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
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