Monday, June 30, 2008

Malone Signs in Tampa

Well, the Tampa Bay Lightning made good use of their trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins. They managed to ink Ryan Malone to a 7-year deal, worth $31.5 million. Signing Malone did ensure that the pick going the way of the Pittsburgh Penguins next season will be a third rounder. The team also made good by signing the other part of the deal, Gary Roberts, as they signed him to a 1-year deal, worth $1.25 million, plus $10,000 for every game he plays next season.

Malone was a key fixture on a line with Sidney Crosby through the season and then when Marian Hossa came to town, the line was complete. Malone finished the season with 27 goals and 24 assists in 77 games for the Penguins and will now have a salary cap hit of $4.5 million over the next seven seasons, which is roughly fair market value for the forward.

He could be a key fixture on the top line with forward Vincent Lecavalier, but he'll likely need a top end playmaker to re-capture his 27-goal mark, if not more.

Vincent LecavalierPaul RangerMike Smith
Martin St. LouisFilip KubaKarri Ramo
Ryan MaloneDan Boyle
Jeff HalpernShane O'Brien
Jussi JokinenBrad Lukowich
Michel OuelletAlexandre Picard
Gary RobertsMike Lundin
Jason Ward
Nick Tarnasky

The Lightning are far from done this summer, but a quick update on their progress before more updates... the signing of Malone and Roberts (to his full cap hit, including bonus) brings the team to 18 regular skaters at $41.5 million. Tons of room to move, with more moves to come.

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