From Reuters.

Evgeni Malkin, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ number one pick in 2004, has fled from his Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk days after agreeing a new contract, local media reported on Saturday.

News agency Itar-Tass, citing a source within the club, reported that Malkin had disappeared from Metallurg’s training camp in Finland.

“Malkin secretly left the club, taking his belongings and his passport,” the source said. Metallurg officials were not immediately available for comment.

Earlier this week, Metallurg said that Malkin had annulled his previous contract with the club, which would have kept him in Magnitogorsk through April 2008. Instead, he had signed a new one-year deal after which he would become a free agent.

In an unrelated story, F Petr Sykora has defected from the war-torn nation of Dolanville, signing a one-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers.