Originally written on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/3/13

UNIONDALE, NY - NOVEMBER 27: Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins argues a call with referee Bill McCreary #7 in his game against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on November 27, 2009 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
We all remember how not-delightful the NHL lockout was. It could’ve been particularly destructive for the league had some of their top Russian players never returned from overseas when it ended however. That’s precisely what almost went down according to Penguins star Evgeni Malkin. He tells SovSport as translated by Igor Kleyner of Capitals blog Russian Machine Never Breaks that he and other superstar Russians like Ilya Kovalchuk Alexander Ovechkin and Pavel Datsyuk nearly stayed at home last season. While Kovalchuk did find a way to return home Malkin also says the lure of going back to Russia to play there will always be there and it’s something he might consider doing later in his career.
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