Report: Malkin will play in Magnitogorsk if there’s a lockout

According to Dennis Bernstein of the Fourth Period on Twitter, the general manager of Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL has announced that Evgeni Malkin will play for Magnitogorsk if there's an NHL lockout.

This immediately panicked people for two reasons: 1) It means that a lockout is pretty likely, and 2) People are worried that Malkin won't be able to return to the Penguins if the 2012-2013 season resumes after a lockout.

In regards to the first point, we've all pretty much come to terms with the fact that a lockout is pretty likely, so this doesn't bother us that much. The KHL season apparently starts in September, so it makes sense that the teams would want to solidify their rosters now. It also makes sense that Malkin would want somewhere to play. Get ready for a lockout though, because it's almost certainly happening.

And the second point? Malkin used Russian labor laws to give two weeks notice and leave Magnitogorsk for the NHL before. Even if his deal with the KHL team doesn't include an "out clause" for when the NHL lockout ends (which it likely does) we're not worried about him being stuck there all season. It's not like he doesn't have experience in sneaking away from the team under cover of darkness.

It does mean that we may end up running the Metallurgblog for a while though.

EDIT: Dave Molinari says nothing is finalized with Magnitogorsk.