With the Pittsburgh Penguins eliminated from postseason contention, injured players can now receive the treatment and rehab necessary to get them ready for the 2020-21 season. With that in mind, the team has announced that Evgeni Malkin underwent successful surgery on his left elbow and has been given a recovery timeline of three to four weeks.
Malkin, 34, wasn’t himself in the playoffs for Pittsburgh, recording just a single (powerplay) assist in four games despite averaging more than 20 minutes of ice time per game. Though he looked like the most dangerous player on the ice for stretches, he also struggled with consistency—something that has plagued Malkin for many years—and wasn’t able to elevate the team around him.
The Penguins are already looking forward to the 2020-21 season and competing for the Stanley Cup once again, though GM Jim Rutherford is expected to make sweeping changes to the roster. Rutherford explained that Malkin along with Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang had nothing to worry about, but there will be a new look Penguins group that tries to make it back to the playoffs.
Even though he dealt with an injury during the year as well, Malkin proved in 2019-20 that he could still be as dominant as ever. He recorded 74 points in 55 games, the ninth consecutive season he has scored at a rate better than a point-per-game. Malkin now sits at 1,076 regular season points in his career and 87th all-time in goals with 416. He has two years remaining on his current contract.