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Malkin wants to play on a line with free agent Zaripov

2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 08: Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal in the first period against the Nashville Predators in Game Five of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final at PPG PAINTS Arena on June 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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Earlier this week, the NHL announced that forward Danis Zaripov, who had been suspended for two years by the IIHF, was eligible to play in North America.

Zaripov was banned from the KHL for two years because he tested positive for a banned substance.

The NHL heard Zaripov’s appeal, and they decided that he should be allowed to play here if he wanted to do so. That didn’t go unnoticed by Penguins center Evgeni Malkin.

According to Igor Eronko of Sports Express, Malkin is not only interested in bringing Zaripov to the Penguins, he also wants to have him on his line.

The Penguins have $3.28 million in cap space, which should be more than enough to get a deal done with the KHL veteran (assuming they’re interested).

The 36-year-old hasn’t played in North America since he was a member of the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos in 1998-99.

He spent 12 seasons with AK Bars Kazan between 2001-2013, and he followed that up with a four-year stint with Magnitogorsk Mettalurg.

In 2016-17, he put up 16 goals and 45 points in 56 games during the regular season, but he exploded during the playoffs, as he had 15 goals and 22 points in 18 games.