A legal challenge by a Russian club team to prevent Evgeni Malkin from playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins has failed.
A U.S. District court judge ruled today from the bench that Metallurg's request for an injunction to keep Malkin from playing in the NHL this season has been rejected.
''We always have been confident in our position in Evgeni's case,'' Penguins vice-president of communications Tom McMillan said in a statement Wednesday. ''We are very happy for Evgeni, his family and Penguins fans.''
The Russian club may continue to pursue legal avenues and go to trail in order to seek compensation for the loss of Malkin, who had signed a contract to play in Russia this season, but Wednesday's ruling means Malkin will play this season in the NHL no matter what.
It will be up to the Russian club to decide whether to take the matter to trial, but today's ruling is considered a significant victory for Malkin, the Penguins and the NHL.