Evgeni Malkin is a key piece of the Pittsburgh Penguins. He's one of the best players in the world, still has a year left on a contract that pays him $8,700,000, and next season a no trade clause kicks in. If the Penguins move him in the offseason, I would fully consider it a sign of the end times.
Darren Dreger of TSN tweeted this Wednesday night, and it has some people up in speculative arms;
If Pens lose series in 4 or 5 games the offseason storylines may beinteresting. Some think Malkin becomes a trade target. Tough call.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 6, 2013
Me and the rest of you guys? Well, let's just say that I'm pretty sure all of us view this as a chance to spitball some offers that will absolutely, positively never happen. What would it take for the Blues to get Evgeni Malkin? The Penguins may need some help in goal. Marc-Andre Fleury has done nil in the playoffs since winning the Cup in 2009; sure, he has a limited NMC, but he can still be traded. Would the Penguins be interested in Jaroslav Halak, or is that a move that the Blues want to make with such insecurity behind him on the depth chart?
The Pens need defense - you know they'd want one of Alex Pietrangelo or Kevin Shattenkirk. Do you trade them off for a year of a player that you don't know that you'll be able to re-sign (or afford)? Hell no. Can you make them ok with Halak, Ian Cole, maybe an underperforming forward like David Perron - who, after the trade will probably turn on the jets and be absurd), some prospects and a first rounder?
I'll be the first person to say that there's no way for the Blues to make anything like this happen without harming the team for the long term. But that's not the point of pointless speculation. So, people, speculate. What gets Geno to St. Louis?