June 18 2008 10:54AM
We’ve talked a lot about Ryan Malone here at the Nation, praising his grit, marveling at his power-forwardity, laughing heartily at how his last name rhymes with “trombone” and generally suggesting that he come lace ‘em up for the Mighty Oil.
Word now out of Pittsburgh that recent speculation he would be traded to a Western Conference Team at the draft has been dismissed by none other than Malone’ agent himself. From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today:
Amid speculation that the Penguins were about to send Ryan Malone to a Western Conference team for a player and/or draft pick, Malone's agent signaled last night that his client was not interested in such a deal and that Malone would rather wait to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. The Columbus Dispatch reported yesterday that the Penguins were going to trade Malone's right to Columbus, Vancouver or Minnesota. But Malone's agent, Mike Liut, suggested that a team trading for his client might end up empty-handed if Malone chooses not to sign. "Ryan doesn't want to go down that road," Liut said. "His preference would be to go ahead and go until July 1 [and become an unrestricted free agent]." If Malone waits until July 1, he would be on the open market and teams could drive up his asking price through bidding.
Now generally saying “so-and-so won’t be traded” is an imminent sign that so-and-so is about to be traded. Nevertheless, it’s refreshing to see yet another player demanding more dough through free agency. Hey, the guy takes pucks to the grill in the Cup Finals, why shouldn’t he be well paid? And hey, remember former NHL goalie Mike Liut? Now, he’s an agent! See, Ray Emery? There could be life when your career ends in about a month!