Another player whose rights were acquired via trade, Ryan Malone, signed with the Lightning on the first day of Free Agency after the Lightning acquired his rights from the Pittsburgh Penguins days prior. A fan favorite in Tampa, Malone made his mark as a tough, rugged, and lovable winger who could play the heavy game and contribute to the scoresheet.
After playing a large role in helping the Penguins reach the Stanley Cup Final in 2008, the Lightning brought in the free-agent Malone on a six-year deal worth over $30 million. The first four seasons of Malone’s time for the Lightning were solid, consistently finishing just behind Stamkos, Lecavalier, and St. Louis in scoring.
As his contract wore on, the production dried up and did not meet the expectations of a top-six winger making $4.5 Million Annually. With the scoring slowing down, The back end of Malone’s contract began to look progressively worse, and the club was eventually forced to buy out the final year of the deal.