PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin has been named team MVP for the 2019-20 season. The annual team award is voted on by the players.
Malkin is team MVP for the fifth time in his career. Only hall-of-famer Mario Lemieux (12) and team captain Sidney Crosby (8) have won the award more than Malkin.
The 34-year-old Malkin was Pittsburgh’s most consistent player during the regular season, finishing with 74 points (25G-49A) in 55 games. Despite missing 14 of Pittsburgh’s 69, Malkin finished 14th in the NHL in scoring while his 1.35 points-per-game average was tied for sixth-best in the league. His 0.89 assists per ranked fourth.
A constant theme to the season was the Penguins’ inability to stay healthy as their 302 man-games lost were fourth-most in the NHL. However, it seemed that when some of Pittsburgh’s best players were out of the lineup, Malkin did his best work. He was dominant in the 28 games that Crosby because of injury from Nov. 12-Jan. 12, with 38 points in the 26 games, helping the Penguins to an 18-6-4 record and league-best .714 points percentage during that span.
Malkin hit the 20-goal plateau for the seventh-straight year, and 12th time overall. He also became the fourth active, and 31st player in NHL history, to have 11 or more seasons with 70-plus points. Only Lemieux (12) has more 70-point campaigns in franchise history than Malkin’s 11.
Malkin’s season was also filled with milestones as he continues to climb the NHL all-time ranks. His most prominent milestone was when he scored his 400th career goal Dec. 17 at Calgary.