Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced this morning via the Lightning’s Official Site that the organization has chosen to exercise its second compliance buyout in order end the contract of Lightning left wing Ryan Malone.
This is the Lightning’s final compliance buyout, having used the first one to buy out the contract of former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier.
Now that the buyout has been exercised, Malone will become an unrestricted free agent and will be able to pursue a new contract with another team.
Meanwhile, according to the terms of the new CBA, the Bolts will be required to pay Malone two-thirds of his remaining value on his existing contract over twice the term of the deal.
As much as it truly pains me to say this, I can’t say that I didn’t see this coming. There were chirpings last season before the Lightning used their buyout on Lecavalier that Malone was being considered for a buyout, but as luck would have it, he would be given a second chance to prove he had what it takes to be a productive member of the team.
Unfortunately, his personal problems, which have become very public as of late, resulted in a downward spiral in his play on the ice which resulted in him being places as a healthy scratch for a good portion of the second half of the season.
Last season, Malone only played in 57 of 82 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In that time, he scored 5 goals and 10 assists for a grand total of 15 points. Unfortunately, he carried with him a minus-7 rating.
Whether it be due to the amount of injuries he has sustained over the last two years or the other personal issues that he has been dealing with, his numbers have significantly dropped from the 40-50 point seasons the Lightning had become accustomed to seeing him play.
Hopefully, now that he is beginning to address his personal issues and seems to be injury free at the moment, Malone will be able to get back to being the player that we all know that he can be. Unfortunately, it just won’t be in Lightning blue.
We here at Bolts By The Bay wish Ryan Malone the best of luck in the future and hope that he finds a new team where he can get back on the right track soon.