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Author: Pavel Lysenkov (Soviet Sport Newspaper)
Translated By: Sergei Chveitser
Date: 08/15/2006
Gennadi Velichkin: Stealing Malkin is sports terrorism! (Evgeny Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins)

2006 Russian Super League The Soviet Sport correspondent called Gennadi Velichkin yesterday. The Magnitogorsk club manager said that in the last 24 hours, after his last interview with our newspaper on Sunday, nothing has changed. Malkin still has not been found and Metallurg is still planning on suing Pittsburgh and the NHL.

'Nothing happened in the last 24 hours', says Gennadi Velichink. 'Malkin hasn't been found yet, he hasn't called and nobody managed to contact him.'

Are you looking for him?
G. Velichkin: How are we going to look for him? Ask CIA to find him? Isn't it obvious that Evgeni went to America on an invitation from the people overseas? The Americans' arrogance is going overboard. They made the robbery of the century! They don't care that Malkin is Russia's pride. Our whole team and Russia were proud of Evgeni and the Americans arrogantly stole him from us. They stole him! This is basically sports terrorism.

Yesterday, in an interview with SS, you said that your club's position might change.
G. Velichkin: Metallurg's position is definite. We absolutely have to sue not only Pittsburgh, but the entire National Hockey League along with it's high self confidence. The NHL must be shown up for what it is in front of the whole sports world.

Is it true that you will not be filing a lawsuit until Malkin makes an announcement about where he will continue his career?
G. Velichkin: Of course. What if it turns out that Malkin went to team Russia's training camp in Chicago or somewhere else? There is a slight possibility that Malkin didn't run away to the NHL. If that's the case then yes, he did a bad thing and disciplinary actions will be taken although with reference to Evgeni's youth, everything can be forgiven. If however he went where we all think he went, there will be a serious investigation.

Malkin's Russian agent Gennadi Ushakov said in interview with SS yesterday that if Metallurg files a lawsuit, his agency, Pittsburgh and the NHL management will take Malkin's side. Who will you be seeking help from?
G. Velichkin: I know that the FHR will help us and I'm hoping for support from IIHF who oversees all European countries including Russia. After all, NHL isn't the ultimate international federation, right? I think that in the end, Rene Fasel will take the Superleague's side. I was happy to hear of his disappointment at the NHL's and it's agents actions in this situation.

Last year we agreed that if a person signs a contract, he is free to choose where to continue his career and this barbaric resilience that Pittsburgh has shown is really not looking very nice.

That's lightly said...
G. Velichkin: I would respond in a different manner but unfortunately, there are people around me.

I wish you good luck. If Metallurg wins the lawsuit against Pittsburgh, it would set a precedent that would change the relationship between NHL and Russia.
G. Velichkin: There can be no 3rd way to resolve this. Either Malkin returns home or if Pittsburgh is so keen on keeping him, Evgeni can go right ahead and play in the NHL but then let's go back to discussing the compensation sum that the Penguins will pay for the rights to his contracts. Money isn't the most important thing, the top priority is as you said, to set a precedent and win the lawsuit.

Word for word

Sergei Mikhalev, Salavat Ulaev head coach and former Russian junior team head coach:
'Malkin's actions are unexpected to me. Since he signed a new contract with Metallurg, that means that he agreed to all the details that are written in the contract. It alarmed me though that Malkin didn't make any comments to the media after signing the new contract and was silent as a fish.

Evgeni is naturally a leader. He played for me in the junior team at the 2006 World Championships in Vancouver and Kelowna. He worked extremely hard which sometimes turned into ambitions to win games for Russia on his own. He didn't manage to do that as he joined the team just 2 days prior to the start of the tournament and wasn't prepared well to play. He's a guy with a lot of character though and is capable of making important decisions.

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