Craig Patrick: Ovechkin or Malkin?

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Craig Patrick recently came to town for the Rangers game (since Columbus is scouting for possible Nash throwbacks obviously), and Josh Yohe took the opportunity to ask Patrick some questions, ranging from the state of the franchise to the new arena.  The topic of Evgeni Malkin came up, and Craig Patrick said he's not so sure he wouldn't have taken Malkin if the Pens won the 2004 lottery.

"I honestly don't know what we would have done," Patrick said. "The year before, Ovechkin was the definite top pick. But Malkin got so much better that year. He really started to close the gap. We really didn't care if we had the first or second pick. We thought that highly of Malkin."

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So we decided to crank up the Internet and see what articles we could find that previewed that 2004 draft from a Penguins' perspective.
 
-First up is this piece from June 2003, written by Dejan Kovacevic for the PG.  There's no mention of Evgeni Malkin in there.  All Ovechkin, all the time.  It was written on the heels of the Pens drafting Fleury.
 
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-Then we have April 2004, the day after Washington won the lottery.  The article can only be accessed via Google's emotional newspaper archive here.  You can drag across to page B-6 to finish the story.  Not surprisingly, Bob Smizik is complaining about something in that day's newspaper, too.  Interesting tidbit from that article: Malkin sustained a concussion in 2003-2004, and it was on the Pens' radar.
 
 
-Then this article, from Dave Molinari, from June 23, 2004, with it being common knowledge that the Pens had the second pick:
Of course, to most teams, Ovechkin has separated himself from Malkin, too, even though many believe Malkin narrowed that gap as the 2003-04 season wound down.

So basically what we've learned is Malkin had a concussion while his brain was still growing.
 
And for a trip down memory lane, here's video from the 2004 draft.  Wow.  Vladimir all business.
 

 
 
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