While not official, strong rumors have suggested that the New York Rangers have invited ex-Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguin winger Ryan Malone for a tryout that could be extended into training camp, in which could very well be his last shot in the NHL.
Malone, now 34, has seen his career decline not only on the ice, but off it as well. Malone was bought out by the Lightning early this offseason after only playing in 57 games last season, with five goals and 10 assists, and was arrested in April for a DUI and cocaine possession.
It is safe to say that Malone and his hockey career have hit rock bottom and he knows that this tryout invite by the Rangers will most likely be his last chance to prove that he can still play in the NHL. With that being said, however, I do not see how Malone can make this Rangers’ team.
Some fans are hoping that Malone can make the team and play over Tanner Glass, who has been the whipping boy of this year’s Rangers’ offseason moves, but I highly doubt that will happen for one reason. Glass’ contract, whether you agree with it or not, and I certainly do not, is for three years worth $1.45 million per season. You give a player that much for that length of time, unless he is injured, he will play in the majority of the games.
Also, with the Rangers’ depth signing of center Matthew Lombardi and by inking highly touted prospect Kevin Hayes to a contract, there is really no room for Malone to even be a healthy scratch on the Rangers’ roster, never mind in their starting lineup.
I wish Malone the best and I hope he can turn his career and his life around, but unless there is a trade or injuries to the bottom six during training camp, I do not see how Malone makes this team.
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