Vladimir Malkin, father of superstar Evgeni Malkin, said in a interview with Russia's SovSport that the Dallas Stars offered his son a bigger contract than the Pittsburgh Penguins. That would be all well and good except the NHL frowns, no, more like scowls when teams discuss terms with players already under contract. Evgeni Malkin was slated to be a free agent after next season.
Dallas Stars rookie general manager Jim Nill defended his organization, saying, "We have seen the reports that have surfaced out of Russia claiming that we have tampered and they are completely untrue. 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."
Penalties for tampering have historically been intense. In 1999, the St. Louis Blues were found guilty of tampering with New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens. The Blues were fined $1.4 million dollars and had to surrender one of their first-rounders within the next five years, the Devils choice of course. Recently, the Toronto Maple Leafs had to pay a undisclosed amount to the Vancouver Canunks after Leafs coach Ron Wilson mentioned his desire to sign the Sedin twins.
This situation should not be a problem for either team. The Penguins locked up Evgeni Malkin for the rest of his prime and the Stars traded for centers Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley. A league source told CBSsports.com that an investigation would continue "only if an aggrieved party believes a rule was broken."
Hopefully both teams are happy with their offseason moves. Hopefully the Penguins are assuaged by Jim Nill's explanation. Hopefully, for the Stars' sake.
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