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Lightning buy out Malone, Callahan signing imminent (Updated)

Jun 25, 2014, 8:21 AM EDT

RyanMalone2

The Tampa Bay Lightning have used a compliance buyout to get rid of the final season of Ryan Malone‘s seven-year, $31.5 million contract, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The 34-year-old forward is coming off of a rough campaign where he suffered a fractured ankle in November and finished with just five goals and 15 points in 57 games. He’s also facing charges of DUI and cocaine possession, for which he’s pleaded not guilty.

The Lightning’s decision to buy him out might go beyond what Malone did in 2013-14 though. The team is reportedly on the verge of signing forward Ryan Callahan to a five or six year contract that’s projected to come with a cap hit in excess of $5.5 million, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Getting Malone’s $4.5 million cap hit off the books would go a long way towards minimizing the short-term impact of that signing.

Assuming the report is true, Malone’s tenure with the Lightning lasted six seasons. Pittsburgh dealt him and Gary Roberts to Tampa Bay back in the summer of 2008 in exchange for a third-round pick (which became Ben Hanowski). Malone has 179 goals and 370 points in 641 career games.

Update: The Lightning have made Malone’s buyout official.

  1. desertfan - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    Too many drugs!!!

  2. pjblake2redwings - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    Career is over… I wonder if he saved any of his millions or snorted it away like McCarty did here in the D lol

  3. kfraser91 - Jun 25, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    “Cocaine is a hell of a drug!”

    -Rick James

  4. trbowman - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    Get clean first….then get back in the game. Wonder if the stresses of the life wore on him.

    • mangoman1966 - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      We all have stresses in our live. Its easier to deal with them if your a millionaire. Money or lack of is the main reason for most stress.

      • trbowman - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        He’s playing an incredibly physically and mentally demanding sport at its highest level. Toss in travel for kicks.

        It’s not something that’s always easy to handle and it’s different than the usual things folks experience.

  5. blackandorangeforlife - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Why a buyout in his last year…..I get that he is done but they should have benched him and chewed the last year…..Now they have no compliance buyouts left!

    • thomasvanek - Jun 25, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      They need cap space. The whole point of the buyouts is to get expensive bums off of your team.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:05 AM

        Pretty sure i understand the concept thus my original comment….To buy out a contract with 1 year left and it is under $5 mil is plain retarded…..Now they have none left….Did Holmgren make this deal?

    • c9castine - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      Who else would they need to use a compliance buyout on? There is really nobody left with a contract under the.old CBA that is hurting the team like this one. Only stupid thing here is you…it’s not two buyout for the team forever. Its two buyouts of contracts signed under the old CBA.

      • twinsfanfl - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        The only other guy you could consider using it on is Purcell. He has 2 years with 4.5 cap space each year and he ended up on the 4th line last year.

        Teddy has been a very frustrating player to watch since he is such a streaky player. If they didn’t have the Malone issue, I would have been fine with them buying him out.

      • c9castine - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:20 PM

        yeah, i can see that. its a bit steep for him, unless he is playing to his potential consistently as you mention.

        but clearly ryan malone needed to be bought out, not just over purcell, but in general it needed to be done. because atleast purcell is typically healthy and not doing blow and getting DUIs.

  6. withseidelinn - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Gets caught with cocaine in his car, *pleads non-guilty*.

    • c9castine - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      yeah, i laughed at that too. what are you pleading not guilty to?

      pretty sure the officer pulled the stuff right out of his pocket and he failed a breathalyzer. seems like decent evidence to me.

      probably should have plead guilty and hoped for leniency…who is his lawyer??

  7. bl475 - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    And those buyouts have to be used this summer at the latest. Why hang on to a guy getting dui and drug charges after he sits in the press box for the night? Malone seems like a nice guy, but i suspect there’s no reason to hang on to that 4.5 mil cap hit while Callahan can do the same job and do it better!

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