Penguins shorthanded to start season as Evgeni Malkin to miss at least two months

There were whispers over the last few days that Evgeni Malkin could be out longer for the Pittsburgh Penguins than was first reported.

Today, general manager Ron Hextall revealed that Malkin will miss at least the first two months of the season. Penguins’ analyst Phil Bourque was on NHL Radio and said he would be shocked if Malkin was back before Christmas.

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Malkin out with injury

Malkin, 35, injured his right knee on March 16 in a game against Boston and was sidelined for 23 games before making his return on May 3 against Philadelphia. He underwent surgery in early June.

Malkin finished last season with a career-low 28 points (eight goals, 20 assists) in 33 games. He added five points in Pittsburgh’s first-round playoff loss to the New York Islanders.

He is entering the final year of the eight-year, $76 million extension signed in June 2013 and is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Malkin has 1,104 points (424 goals, 680 assists) in 940 games, all with the Penguins. He is entering his 16th season.

The Penguins will also open the season without captain Sidney Crosby, who had wrist surgery in early September and is expected to miss eight weeks.

–Field Level Media