Malkin is learning the language and starting to feel more comfortable, but often times he defers to a translator the Pens have assigned to him or his friend/teammate/landlord Sergei Gonchar to talk so he can convey exactly what he wants to say. Hey, how well do you could speak in Russian after being their for about a year (since you summer in North America).
Mostly the press conferences are fairly boring and routine; most players give the bland, cliched answers to questions that a close observer to hockey already knows what they're gonna say. But after responding to 7 questions through Gonchar, the following happened:
Q. Sergei, do you notice his English improving? A lot of people are saying he understands more than he can speak. Is that fair to say?
EVGENI MALKIN: (In English.) Yes (laughter).
Made us smile, at least.