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Penguins say Malkin 'not available' for trade: report @NHLdotcom

Forward Evgeni Malkin, who has been the subject of trade rumors, won't be leaving the Pittsburgh Penguins anytime soon, general manager Jim Rutherford said Wednesday.

"No, he's not available," Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Based on my communications with him or with his agent, he does not have an interest [in a trade]. He loves Pittsburgh and he wants to win here. Like everybody else, he's disappointed with us not reaching our goal."

Malkin, 28, had 28 goals and 70 points in 69 games this season; he missed several games after sustaining a lower-body injury. He is due $9.5 million this season and has seven more years on an eight-year, $76 million contract that runs through 2021-22.

"He played hurt," Rutherford said. "He actually played when most guys wouldn't play. There's no interest from either side [the club's or the player's] in moving him."

Various reports earlier this month said Malkin was unhappy and willing to leave Pittsburgh.

The Penguins entered the season with high expectations but dealt with numerous injuries, including to a handful of their top defensemen. They lost to the New York Rangers in five games in the Eastern Conference First Round after not clinching a playoff berth until the last day of the regular season.

Malkin is one of the Penguins' top players, along with captain Sidney Crosby, defenseman Kris Letang and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Rutherford said the Penguins need role players in order to win another Stanley Cup.

"We have the core guys to win a championship," Rutherford said. "It's my job and the job of everyone in hockey [operations] to try to get the right supporting cast so that we can build enough balance, speed and youth to have a complementary group that allows us to make the same run [that the Chicago Blackhawks made].

"We didn't need to see the Finals to know it; we knew down the stretch that we need more skill on the wings. That's a priority for us."

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