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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Penguins’ Kessel ‘thrilled’ with chance to play with Crosby, Malkin
- Hurricanes owner rips Rutherford, Penguins
- Penguins sign defensive prospect
- Penguins get their man in making trade with Toronto for Kessel
- Starkey: Rutherford hits jackpot with Kessel
- Penguins notebook: Rutherford proves savvy in deal
- Starkey: Kessel worth Penguins’ inquiry
- Defenseman Martin’s agent planning meeting with Penguins at draft
- Examining the draft trends of the last 3 Penguins GMs
- Penguins deflect trade inquiries, decide to stand pat during NHL Draft
- Pouliot seeks to improve fitness with grueling workout regimen