Report: Tampa Bay looking to deal Ryan Malone

Jonathan Willis
June 27 2013 08:09AM

According to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, the Tampa Bay Lightning are looking to move veteran left winger Ryan Malone; if they can’t, they will likely choose to buy him out of his contract.

Here’s the comment, from Friedman’s 30 Thoughts column:

I'm hearing Yzerman is trying to trade Ryan Malone. Tampa Bay would prefer to avoid a buyout payout and the Lightning are offering a draft pick as an enticement. Malone has a no-move clause in his contract until July 1, which gives him some control of the situation. It is a limited no-trade after then.

Malone missed 24 games last season with a variety of ailments, scoring just six goals and two assists in the 24 games he did play. He averaged just over 20 goals per season in the four years preceding 2013 despite missing time each year. He has one year remaining on his contract, a deal with two years remaining at a $4.5 million cap hit and only a combined total of $5 million over both season in actual salary.

Scouting Report

Here (in part) is McKeen’s Hockey writing on Malone in their 2012-13 Yearbook:

[B]ig, tough forward blessed with soft hands, strong arms, and deceptive quickness .. propelled by a smooth comfortable stride that is long and powerful .. not the most intuitive player – and still suffers lapses in energy and focus .. puts out a good effort most nights now however .. determined and courageous driving to the net and creating space for linemates .. deployed successfully as a net presence on the power play .. excels making plays in traffic and along the boards and is adept at tips and deflections, aided by solid body control .. generates impressive shooting velocity from a minimal windup .. provides a strategic size and power component to Tampa’s mix .. always best to budget for downtime given his brash approach.

The latter line is one of the primary concerns with respect to Malone; the 33 year old has missed just over one-quarter of Tampa Bay’s games over the last four seasons.

A Statistical Lens

What I'd like to do is look at a number of performance-related statistics. I'm going to look, year by year, at four categories, which are as follow:

  • CorsiRel. "Corsi" is shorthand for shot attempts plus/minus - all the shots, missed shots, and blocked shots that a player was on the ice for 5-on-5 over an average one-hour period. The "Rel" part stands for relative - what we're doing there is adjusting for team strength.
  • 5-on-5 Points/60. Just like regular points, only adjusted for an average hour of ice-time.
  • ZoneStarts. Taking offensive zone and defensive zone faceoffs, and expressing them as a percentage. If a player was on the ice for 70 offensive zone faceoffs and 30 defensive zone faceoffs, he would have a 70% offensive zone start, and we'd expect him to do better than a player with 30 offensive zone and 70 defensive zone faceoffs (30% zone start).
  • Quality of Competition rank. The player's rank among active forwards on his team in Behind the Net's Quality of Competition (we're using the Corsi-based one, though the site also offers a goal-based one and the difference between the two is small). This gives us an idea of the kind of opponents Malone typically played against.

Season Team CorsiRel 5v5 Points/60 ZoneStart QC Rank.
2007-08 Pittsburgh 6.4 1.94 51.1 11th
2008-09 Tampa Bay 10.9 2.36 53.0 10th
2009-10 Tampa Bay -1.6 1.96 51.6 5th
2010-11 Tampa Bay 8.0 1.80 53.0 12th
2011-12 Tampa Bay -0.4 1.90 48.7 5th
2012-13 Tampa Bay -6.3 1.22 50.5 2nd

Aside from this most recent season, we get an interesting picture of Malone. Obviously, he’s a capable scorer – a good scoring line option will manage 2.00 points per hour 5-on-5, and Malone is generally just a hair below that. The interesting thing is that he only has really excelled in his NHL career in years where he hasn’t played the tough minutes – we see three seasons where his team really out-shot the opposition with him on the ice, and in all three cases he wasn’t playing against power. When he played second-tier opposition, his team was more likely to hover around the break-even mark in terms of shot attempts for and against.

Not listed here, but also of interest: Malone has been a significant power play performer on the team’s he has played for and can reasonably be seen as a value-added player with the man advantage. He’s also capable of filling in on the penalty kill, though it’s been a few years since he played regular minutes.

The Cost

The cost of Malone isn’t really in the acquisition – Tampa Bay sounds willing to sweeten the deal, after all. It’s two more years at a cap hit of $4.5 million for a guy closing in on 34 with an ugly history of injury and a style that will continue putting him in harm’s way.

If he rebounds, Ryan Malone is an awfully useful player; if he doesn’t, that’s a hard contract to take on.

Recently around the Nation Network

At NHL Numbers, Derek Zona presents the Final Consensus Rankings for the 2013 NHL Draft. Who is number one, and perhaps more importantly for this site, who is number seven?

Click the link to find out, or alternately, feel free check out some of my other pieces here:

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#51 Lochenzo
June 27 2013, 11:37AM
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Just a word on Dave Bolland: I don't think he's been the same ever since his real bad concussion a ways back. Definitely a marked drop off from his play in 2010.

Maybe he just needs time to get healthy or maybe he just needs a fresh start just like Jarret Stoll when he struggled returning from concussions. Given our needs for depth centres, he may be worth the risk if the price is right. His age is definitely more favourable for this Oiler group than Lecavalier's.

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#52 justDOit
June 27 2013, 11:38AM
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OilersBrass wrote:

Vinny is getting a massive pay cheque, i'm sure they any team could get him for less.

I don't see him signing for much less that $6M per year, but the term will be short 2 - 3 years max.

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#53 Rod from Viking
June 27 2013, 11:45AM
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oilerjed wrote:

@ Bicepus Maximus - Peter, The Great. Potter, the Goat

maybe i missed something during the playoffs but I didnt notice Bolland all that much. Other then a 2011 he has been a bit of a non issue. Id keep Gags and give it a chance to see what he can do in the playoffs. Still would slide him to wing if we can get a 2c though.

Totally agree, I made that comment in the first period of game 6 and then he scores the cup winner.

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#54 oilerjed
June 27 2013, 11:54AM
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Rod from Viking wrote:

Totally agree, I made that comment in the first period of game 6 and then he scores the cup winner.

thats what is great about the playoffs, anybody can be the hero. Right place right time. Mind you he worked his ass off to get there.

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#55 OilersBrass
June 27 2013, 12:09PM
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justDOit wrote:

I don't see him signing for much less that $6M per year, but the term will be short 2 - 3 years max.

6 mill a year? Sarcasm??

Like everyone has been saying he's always injured, and he isn't even the same player anymore. There is no possible way he's worth 6 million a year. He was just bought out for a ridiculous contract, no one is going to turn around and go give him another one.

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#56 Oilcan
June 27 2013, 12:10PM
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justDOit wrote:

Waivers doesn't mean that the player is moving - he will be put on waivers for the purpose of buying out his contract, which he has no control over.

Awesome thanks! So if a team did claim him (which won't happen) he could block that claim?

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#57 Jay
June 27 2013, 12:13PM
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Jonathan, you need to fire your editor. Could someone translate this for me?

" He has one year remaining on his contract, a deal with two years remaining at a $4.5 million cap hit and only a combined total of $5 million over both season in actual salary."

From capgeek, it looks like "He has two years remaining on his contract, a deal with two years remaining at a $2.25 million cap hit per year and a combined total of $5 million in actual salary for the duration of the contract."

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#58 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 27 2013, 12:37PM
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Jay wrote:

Jonathan, you need to fire your editor. Could someone translate this for me?

" He has one year remaining on his contract, a deal with two years remaining at a $4.5 million cap hit and only a combined total of $5 million over both season in actual salary."

From capgeek, it looks like "He has two years remaining on his contract, a deal with two years remaining at a $2.25 million cap hit per year and a combined total of $5 million in actual salary for the duration of the contract."

I'd pick up Malone for two years at 2.5 mil......along with a 3rd round draft pick....

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#59 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 27 2013, 12:38PM
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RDS wrote:

Any truth to the glorius rumour I heard last night:

Hemsky + 7th overall to FLA for 2nd overall?

No

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#60 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 27 2013, 12:39PM
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Bicepus Maximus - Huge fan boy! wrote:

So Malone and a pick for.....?

For free...

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#61 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 27 2013, 12:53PM
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Smokey wrote:

I think they puh in an offer like.any team saying we're sending a message, but Vinny stays out east. Gotta think he can still.command 5 mil x 5, and.would make a smoking 2nd line center on most teams I would think Detroit, Washington, heck Florida.could be front runners and looking for a second line center like him. He's not going.to Canada and especially not TO or Montreal.

I don't get the math......why would Tampa pay him $7 million a year not to play if he's this smokin hot 2nd line center worth 5 mil a year. .........I get that they are shedding a too large too long contract that would become unbearable in the near future....but then why not keep and play him one more year and buy him out in the summer of 2014?

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#62 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 27 2013, 12:54PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

Had here pegged as a side sleeper. Little bit of that boob sweat thing going on there.

Figure Bollands worth that 56th selection, or Paajarvi?

56th. YES

PRV. NO

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#63 Taylor Gang
June 27 2013, 12:55PM
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justDOit wrote:

I don't see him signing for much less that $6M per year, but the term will be short 2 - 3 years max.

Thus why my 2 year 11 million deal makes sense. I can't see teams offering much more than that, even if they are desperate.

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#64 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 27 2013, 12:58PM
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Walter Sobchak wrote:

Correct me if I'm wrong but did MacTavish not say (paraphrasing) I'm only looking for 26-27-28 years old to supplement this team with?

MacTavish wont be going after Lecavalier and get caught in a bidding war.

He wont be going after Malone an injury prone 33 year old.

I will say this about MacTavish he sure is talking a lot of sense.

If......Lecavalier goes to Montreal does that mean Galchenyuk could be moved for the right price?

That's kinda like saying, if the Oilers got Lecavalier they'd be open to moving RNH.....I don't think so....

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#65 OilersBrass
June 27 2013, 01:19PM
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Taylor Gang wrote:

Thus why my 2 year 11 million deal makes sense. I can't see teams offering much more than that, even if they are desperate.

I think Vinny will just ask for a one year deal, and go back to Tampa the following year.

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#66 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
June 27 2013, 01:29PM
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OilersBrass wrote:

I think Vinny will just ask for a one year deal, and go back to Tampa the following year.

He then becomes a one year rental and would have to go to a contender...

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#67 gcw_rocks
June 27 2013, 02:02PM
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With the buy out money rolling in, Vinny likely will prioritize going somewhere he will enjoy playing hockey. Very tough sell for Edmonton, but MacT has to take a crack at Vinny if the number is under $5M.

Add Vinny at a reasonable price, deal Gagner for a defender and the Oilers are a lot closer to a playoff team.

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#68 EHH Team
June 27 2013, 02:05PM
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Next up, is Connor McJesus. wrote:

David Bolland > Sam Gagner?

no

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#69 Tikkanese
June 27 2013, 02:33PM
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The Oil won't go for Vinny. Gagner isn't a 3C. Neither Gagner on the wing or Vinny at C are the "meat" we need in the top 6. He isn't a fit. We aren't trading Gagner to make room for Vinny either, that's just nonsense.

I've liked Ryan Malone for many years but he's a bit old and injury prone to be much help here. Malone about 6 years ago would be a definate yes.

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#70 oilerjed
June 27 2013, 02:50PM
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Totally off topic but why is the Team 1040 Vancouver spending an hour talking about trading Bobby Lou to Edmonton?

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#71 OilClog
June 27 2013, 03:02PM
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@Tikkanese

Vinny added to our top 6 is an improvement and there is zero way of denying that.

Our top 6 is suppose to control the puck and score.. vinny doesn't get knocked off the puck easily.. he's a pt per game player.. he's good defensively.. so what he doesn't crush people... That's our bottom 6 role.. You don't hit people when you control the puck.. So again.. How wouldn't Vincent be an upgrade on what we currently sport?

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#72 Tikkanese
June 27 2013, 03:30PM
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@OilClog

Like I said, there really isn't a spot for him. He may be an improvement right now on Gagner but he isn't a long term answer. So there is no point on acquiring him. You're not bumping Gagner down to 3C as that would do more harm than good. On that token, Vinny isn't signing here to be a 3C either. You're not moving Gagner to LW with Vinny as 2C as that's a lateral move not addressing the Oiler's long term needs. So again, it really isn't an upgrade and it won't happen anyways so why bother talking about it.

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#73 madjam
June 27 2013, 04:28PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

@OilClog

Like I said, there really isn't a spot for him. He may be an improvement right now on Gagner but he isn't a long term answer. So there is no point on acquiring him. You're not bumping Gagner down to 3C as that would do more harm than good. On that token, Vinny isn't signing here to be a 3C either. You're not moving Gagner to LW with Vinny as 2C as that's a lateral move not addressing the Oiler's long term needs. So again, it really isn't an upgrade and it won't happen anyways so why bother talking about it.

Vinny would be first line center here until Hopkins or Gagner reaches up to his level . Don't kid yourselves . He's definitely an upgrade .

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#74 OilClog
June 27 2013, 06:09PM
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@Tikkanese

Ummmm

Hall Vinny Yak Gags RNH Ebs

Hall RNH Ebs Gags Vinny Yak

Hall RNH Gags Ebs Vinny Yak

Yeah... That's a downgrade, it's horrible. What was I thinking, MacT hasn't said at all he wants Gags on the wing.. Nothing in that nature.. Just plain old stupidity on my part.

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#75 Bonvie
June 27 2013, 06:59PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

The Oil won't go for Vinny. Gagner isn't a 3C. Neither Gagner on the wing or Vinny at C are the "meat" we need in the top 6. He isn't a fit. We aren't trading Gagner to make room for Vinny either, that's just nonsense.

I've liked Ryan Malone for many years but he's a bit old and injury prone to be much help here. Malone about 6 years ago would be a definate yes.

Exactly especially on Malone, people have to learn to live in the now not in the past, Malone is in the Ryan Smyth category there isn't many games left to squeeze out of him. Oilers need a Colin Wilson type forward.

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#76 Bonvie
June 27 2013, 07:10PM
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OilClog wrote:

Ummmm

Hall Vinny Yak Gags RNH Ebs

Hall RNH Ebs Gags Vinny Yak

Hall RNH Gags Ebs Vinny Yak

Yeah... That's a downgrade, it's horrible. What was I thinking, MacT hasn't said at all he wants Gags on the wing.. Nothing in that nature.. Just plain old stupidity on my part.

Why don't you join the rest of us here in 2013 your talking like the lightning just won a Stanly Cup, even Richards the guy that the Lightning would have kept if the had a do over may get bought out of his contract and was a healthy scratch the last Rangers playoff games.

Over the next three years would you really take Lecavlier over Gagner? If I am looking at the next three years going forward its pretty clear to me who the better hockey player is.

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#77 OilClog
June 27 2013, 08:01PM
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Bonvie wrote:

Why don't you join the rest of us here in 2013 your talking like the lightning just won a Stanly Cup, even Richards the guy that the Lightning would have kept if the had a do over may get bought out of his contract and was a healthy scratch the last Rangers playoff games.

Over the next three years would you really take Lecavlier over Gagner? If I am looking at the next three years going forward its pretty clear to me who the better hockey player is.

As of right now, I'd take Vinny as my Center with Gagner on the wing.. Yes. I thought my post was pretty clear of such a decision.

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#78 OilClog
June 27 2013, 08:04PM
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@Bonvie

The rest of your post sounds like gibberish anger.. Vinny had a better season then Richards I'm pretty sure, but at the end of the playoffs which players value is lower?

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#79 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
June 27 2013, 09:15PM
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If we only had a Ralph Krueger on staff. He would be all the Oil needed to sell him on Edmonton, Lecavilier would surely soon be wearing #44, for the Oilers.

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#80 Oiler Al
June 27 2013, 10:33PM
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I can see a team like Florida being a fit for LaCalvier. They need players, have cap space and he still gets to stay in the state.

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#81 Tikkanese
June 28 2013, 08:41AM
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OilClog wrote:

Ummmm

Hall Vinny Yak Gags RNH Ebs

Hall RNH Ebs Gags Vinny Yak

Hall RNH Gags Ebs Vinny Yak

Yeah... That's a downgrade, it's horrible. What was I thinking, MacT hasn't said at all he wants Gags on the wing.. Nothing in that nature.. Just plain old stupidity on my part.

? I never said it would be a downgrade or horrible. It is simply not a long term upgrade or solution by any stretch.

Vinny is also not the "meat" answer we need for our top 6. Don't give me the "but he fought Iggy" stuff either. That was 2005, this is 2013.

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#82 Tikkanese
June 28 2013, 09:32AM
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Vinny signing in Edm

Positives: - Former 1st overall who played on a bad team that eventually won the Cup; lots of exp to pass on to our kids - short term slight upgrade

Negatives: - Not a long term upgrade - Not the "meat" answer to our top 6 needs - Not playing with Stamkos and St. Louis anymore, stats take a hit

Unknowns: - Moves Gagner to LW; will Gagner be as effective on LW?

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