Burke: Malkin & Letang are not off limits

But don't expect them to be traded

We aren’t saying Evgeni Malkin is going to be traded, but Brian Burke says the Russian superstar isn’t off limits.

The Penguins’ President of Hockey Operations told Cook and Joe on Friday that owner Mario Lemieux has not told him or General Manager Ron Hextall that Geno is untouchable. The same applies to defenseman Kris Letang.

“He’s has given a direction which is he wants to be as successful as we can,” said Burke. “He hasn’t given us specific indications or restrictions on movement of either player or instructions on either player, whatever we do, we will take the blame for that, we will take the praise for that, Mario is leaving us alone.

That being said, Burke thinks Malkin (when he wasn’t hurt) Letang and Sidney Crosby all had great seasons.

“There’s no reason to, at this point, to say well we got to break up the core,” said Burke.

While the organization is open to negotiating contract extensions for both Malkin and Letang, they are not currently in discussions.

“We’ll have to wait and see, would we be open to that? Yes, but we’ll wait and see what happens in the offseason.