Malone: 'A deal could have been done a long time ago'
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.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.