Report: Tampa Bay looking to deal Ryan Malone

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:

  • oilerjed

    @ 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.

  • OilersBrass

    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.

  • oilerjed

    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.”

  • Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)

    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.

  • Tikkanese

    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.

    • OilClog

      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?

    • Bonvie

      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.

  • Tikkanese

    @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.

    • OilClog

      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.

      • Bonvie

        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.

      • Tikkanese

        ? 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.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    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.

  • Tikkanese

    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?