Share This Page

Fan base, community making push for Penguins' Malkin

| Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 9:32 p.m.
The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin celebrates his fifth goal of the season in the second period against the Flyers at Consol Energy Center April 7, 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review
The Penguins' Evgeni Malkin at Consol Energy Center 2012. Chaz Palla | Tribune Review

The Penguins have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs for more than a month, but one of their best players remains in a tournament.

Evgeni Malkin, the NHL's leading scorer for a second time this season, is fresh off leading Russia to a gold medal in the World Championships and is in the running to become the NHL's latest cover boy for EA NHL 2013.

The marketing of Malkin to make the cover of the famous video game has served as a fun endeavor following the team's surprisingly early dismissal from the postseason.

“Our staff has had a lot of fun with it,” Penguins vice president of communications Tom McMillan said. “And the fans clearly are having fun with it, too.”

So, too, are public officials.

Recent videos on the Penguins' website have showcased everyone from Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, to coach Dan Bylsma, to players Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, Tyler Kennedy and Craig Adams offering support for Malkin.

Fan voting for the semifinal, which likely will pit Malkin against Philadelphia star Claude Giroux, begins today. Anyone interested in voting can do so at nhl.com or pittsburghpenguins.com.

Malkin has his share of supporters pushing him to claim the honor.

“I'm proud to say he's made a huge impact on the team and on our community,” Penguins fan Morgan Dehner said.

Even the most famous of Penguins' fans — the “Knitting Lady” — is getting behind the Malkin push.

“He's finally come into his own,” Michelle Miller said. “Being on the cover of NHL 2013 would only be a small step to show how far he's come.”

Penguins fans pushed Malkin past Philadelphia winger Scott Hartnell in the quarterfinals.

“Our fans make you shake your head with amazement,” McMillan said.

Malkin led the NHL with 109 points and scored a career-high 50 goals, despite having surgery to repair a torn ACL in February 2011.

After producing eight points in a six-game series loss to the Flyers, Malkin had 19 points to lead Russia to the World Championship gold medal.

“He dazzles us,” Penguins fan Nicole Tracey said. “There's no doubt he deserves to be the cover boy.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.