Will the Pens sign Vladmir Malenkykh and Sergei Anshakov to contacts this summer? I hope so.
I was happy in see in Molinari's most recent Q&A that the Pens still have time to sign Malenkykh. Malenkykh played on Malkin's team this season. He's suposedly pretty tough. The Pens D could use some more toughness because Orpik can't do it alone and Cairns sits most nights. I do worry this guy would get a lot of hooking/holding calls because of the switch in officating. The Pens should try to sign him to a one-way contract anyway. If he ends up sucking, he can disappear off the team like Pirjeta did and Noah Welch can step in.
Anshakov should come play for WBS. He's having trouble even getting on a team in Russia, so hopefully he would jump at the chance to have a two-way contract with the Pens. With it looking like Salmonsson will playing in Sweden the next two years, there's room for Anshakov on the minor league roster. He's played with Malkin in international junoir competition.
I'm not saying he isn't any good, because I've never see him play, but I don't see the logic in handing a one-way contract to a 26 year old prospect that's never played in North America. Maybe if he took the league minimum I'd bite.
I wonder how much he wants to be here. He's never shown an interest in playing over here before. He's a 7th round pick. Why should he be guaranteed a spot on the NHL team ahead of a guy like Welch who has played his way there?
Malenkykh was a top pairing defenseman on the best defensive team in Russia a few seasons ago. So I would hope he is not too bad, but true, he could end up being another Kurcera (sp?, the guy who went to Wash. with Jagr).