34-Year-Old Left Wing – Free Agent
Ryan Malone Contract Information:
Contract bought out by the Lightning in July 2014, making him an unrestricted free agent.
The Lightning have bought out Malone's contract, reports TSN.ca. The winger now becomes an unrestricted free agent.
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Ryan Malone: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Malone is big and talented, but an injury waiting to happen -- he hasn't played a full season since his rookie year. So, if you can stomach carrying a guy who could miss 20 games and deliver just 45-odd points, you go right ahead. We're convinced there are better options available. And those options won't cause the kind of ulcers that Malone will.
Malone is borderline on the list of 30-best left wingers in the NHL. In a perfect world, he delivers a consistent 45-50 points and 80-100 PIMs. But that's a perfect world. Last season, he struggled through serious abdominal and shoulder injuries and saw his output drop. And this season, that surgically-repaired shoulder will keep him out of action until December. He may be worth stashing until then but only if you can afford the roster spot. Left wing isn't as shallow as it once was. And a 55-60-game power winger trying to get back up to game speed will likely have a slow start.
Malone had an impressive first half last year but by season's end, he was nothing more than the same-old, same-old 45-point man we thought he'd be. That might be valuable if accompanied by 100 PIMs but unfortunately for Malone, he became a veritable pussycat last season (68 vs. a 100-point average the two previous years). Malone is destined for a drop to the Bolts' third line this year, that is if he isn't traded before camp. His fantasy value is not unlike that of Tomas Holmstrom's... if he earns power-play time. Otherwise, it's buyer beware.
As much as we hate the following statement, we're going to use it any way; there’s no better way to sum up his talents. He is what he is. And that’s a 50-point (max), 100-PIM power forward. His value is tied to leagues that count sin bin points; Otherwise, he’s fringe-average at best. He is what he is.
Ryan Malone’s career year of 51 points last season is not worth seven years and $31.5 million. This late bloomer is little more than a 25-goal, 50-point forward who’ll deliver 100+ PIMs. So unless your league counts the latter, you should let someone else draft his hype.
It would be very easy and understandable to write off Malone because of his inconsistent play in 2005. Maybe the expectations were too high for him, maybe his good size (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) reminded onlookers of another Penguins player named Mario, or just maybe some thought that he'd continue to build on a successful rookie campaign. Whatever the case, it simply wasn't happening for the 26-year-old center/winger early on when he was shopped around the league. In his first 47 games, Malone totaled only 18 points (11/7). From February on, he tallied 26 points (11/15) in 30 contests. Fantasy teams could do worse with a late-round pick. He plays a fantasy position, left wing, with little depth and has a knack for coming up with the short-handed goal (five in 2005-06). Malone could also see significant time on a potentially lethal power play, if he demonstrates a consistent willingness to throw his size around in front of opposing goalies.
At times in the summer of 2005 it seemed as though Malone might ask for child support, because it seemed the Penguins were bent on not paying him a penny. With his contract situation resolved, Malone figures to take one of two paths in 2005-06. First, he could get lost among all of the team's new stars. Second, and more likely, he'll gradually build up his playing time over the course of the season when injuries strike the 30-somethings. He's really had only one solid season, fantasy or real, so it will be interesting to track Malone's progress this year.