No one would argue that Ryan Malone had a rough 2013 season. With pre-game injuries and several missed games, in conjunction with being one of the top paid players ($4,5000,000 cap hit for the 2013-1014 season) sports fans are left wondering…is Bugsy worth his weight for the coming season?Malone has over ten years of experience in the NHL, and will be closing out his seven year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning at the end of the 2014-2015 season. With despairing stats, a lackluster past season, and a player rating of -1.5 many fans feel cause for concern supporting Malone.
Commenting prior to last season about his injuries, Malone stated he would be preventing situations that could cause re-injuries, and that he felt completely healed and ready to play. But, the 33-year old did not meet the expectations of his fans and NHL commentators.
Malone is not a has-been yet though, and he has a credible collection of NHL accomplishments to make his case. Has Malone passed his peak? Commentators speculate that possibility is true. Though with many sports greats, the hope is alive with his fans, that Malone will overcome the negative projections about his career longevity and productivity and take the Tampa Bay Lightning to the top of the leader-board this year.
Pessimism can’t damper the drive of Malone though…he is always “ready to return” to the game, and hopefully with no untimely injuries this year, Bugsy will prove that he’s still the power forward the Lightning need to return to the Stanley Cup playoffs.