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10 января 2000 года.
Healthy-looking Malakhov remains a mystery 

MONTREAL (CP)  
Although he denied it, the frustration was evident in coach Alain Vigneault's voice over the cloudy return date of star defenceman Vladimir Malakhov. Malakhov, who has yet to play for the Montreal Canadiens this season after tearing knee ligaments during training camp, looks ready, but says he needs more time off.  

"You have to ask him or his agent," Vigneault said. "I'm not sure what the plan is. "He looks fine on the ice. He's skating like the wind. He's stood out. But I figure he's got a date in mind and he'll let us know. It's always the player's decision." 

There's always an element of mystery to Malakhov, who can be one of the NHL's best or simply an average defencemen, depending on his state of mind. Malakhov said he feels "pretty good" but still feels some twinges and has set no definite date for a return. He's not expected to play tonight against Detroit, but may be ready Friday in Buffalo or Saturday back home against Boston.  

"What can I do, I can't play right now?" he said. "I'm just looking to come back. "I'm sick and tired of watching from upstairs." The Canadiens, who have lost 263 man-games to injury this season, need him desperately if they are to stage a second-half comeback after going 12-24-5-1 in their first 41 games.  

Vigneault called him "probably our most talented player," who quarterbacks the power play and who can dominate at both ends of the ice. "You saw the impact that the return of Patrice Brisebois had, not only on defence but also offensively," Vigneault said of his No. 2 blue-liner, who returned last month from a bad back. "He transformed our power play. With Malakhov's talent, that's got to have an impact."  

But even Malakhov's future with the team is a mystery. He's eligible for unrestricted free agency at the end of the season and general manager Rejean Houle must decide whether to offer him a new contract or trade him. Malakhov said he would rather not be traded, particularly during the season while his son is in school, but he insisted it was out of his control. And if he becomes a free agent, he's confident he'll find a team willing to pay him.  

"It's not my decision," said Malakhov, who reportedly is seeking $4-to-5 million US per season, depending on the length of the deal. "I realize what I can get. "I'm not going to ask for so much money. It's management's decision whether to try and keep me here. I don't think I'll sit and wait. Someone will call, for sure."  

Right now, Vigneault sounds like he'd like a call from Malakhov saying he's ready to play. "I hope that's not how it will be interpreted," Vigneault added. "He had a serious injury. "Players decide whether they feel they're healthy and can come back. I'm not in his skin. I can't decide when he comes back." 

Страничка Владимира Малахова на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"

ПРЕДЫДУЩИЕ МАТЕРИАЛЫ: 

13 сентября. Владимир Малахов: "Сохранить российскую тройку!" - Спорт-Экспресс.

4 августа. Малахов снова стал «дьяволом». 

21 декабря. Владимир Малахов: "Возможно, сезон НХЛ стартует через 10 дней" // "Спорт-Экспресс"

9 марта. “Филадельфия“ усилилась Малаховым. 

7 ноября. Malakhov at heart of resurgence - НХЛ.com

4 ноября. Владимир Малахов: "Ковыряемся потихоньку" - "Спорт Экспресс"

7 июля. Интервью с В.Малаховым. "Лорды Нью-Йорка не шутят"

22 мая. Владимиру Малахова сделана операция на плече.

4 февраля. Владимир Малахов. Москва на Гудзоне - Советский Спорт

31 октября. Malakhov Is Turning It Up - The Newsday 

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