Malone: 'A deal could have been done a long time ago'
By Rob Rossi, TRIBUNE-REVIEW, Monday, September 22, 2008
TAMPA, Fla. -- Former Penguins' left wing Ryan Malone, the first Pittsburgh-born player in franchise history, said today he would have taken less than his free-agent market value to stay with the franchise.
"Of course," said Malone, who signed a seven-year contract worth $31.5 million with Tampa Bay after the Penguins traded his and forward Gary Roberts' rights to the Lightning for a 2009 third-round pick on June 28. "I'm sure a deal could have been done a long time ago.
"They weren't really sure what they had or what they thought of (me)... that's what happens."
Malone scored 27 goals, including a team-best six winners, and recorded 51 points for the Penguins last season - a breakout campaign that saw him become a dressing-room leader.
General manager Ray Shero praised Malone's contributions to the Penguins yesterday.
"It was a business decision," Shero said of trading Malone. "I wish him the best, because he really did a great job for us.
"It became apparent to me it was not going to happen with us - whether it was financially or whether he just wanted to get to (the free-agency period) July 1. When the Tampa Bay situation came along, I thought that might be a good situation for him, and I had to do what's best for our team."
Malone is slated to play tonight for Tampa Bay against the Penguins in an exhibition game at St. Pete Times Forum.
Poor, poor Ryan Malone.
Malone left to make more money. That's fine. It's his career. But for him to come back and say "They could have signed me any time, I would have signed for less" is ridiculous.
Fucking Ryan Malone.
Crying at the end of the playoffs because he'd never play for the team again.
Saying months later that a deal could have been done and that he would have taken less.
Ryan, if you were so sad about leaving and you would have taken less money to stay here, why are you now collecting fat pay checks in Tampa?
At least Hossa was honest that he left to win the Cup. Malone left for a big pay day (which I don't begrudge him for) but then whined about how he wanted to stay with his hometown and how would have taken less money to play there.
The choice was yours Ryan, and you took the money. Don't act like it was anything other than that and don't blame the team that couldn't afford your huge salary.