In its series of trade rumors, the Toronto Star is reporting today that Ryan Malone still has a good chance of landing in Toronto.
The 32-year-old veteran of the Tampa Bay Lightning – and previously the Pittsburgh Penguins – is under contract for three more years after this season with a hit of $4.5 million per year.
The Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings and Vancouver Canucks are reportedly all interested in Malone, too.
With 19 days until the trade deadline, there’s plenty of time for GM Steve Yzerman to be sold on being a seller.
From a Toronto perspective, here’s why it can happen, according to the Star:
“His physical play would make him an ideal third-line player for the Leafs. He could also be a solid second-line player, perhaps replacing Nikolai Kulemin as Mikhail Grabovski’s wingman provided Grabovski, an unrestricted free agent this summer, is still a Leaf after the Feb. 27 trade deadline.”
Malone is a guy Brian Burke can mold well into the organization, the Star continues, adding complications in Malone’s contact may make the deal a bit challenging:
“Malone won’t come cheap or easy. Aside from a no-movement clause this season, he has a limited no-movement clause that kicks in for the next two seasons that allows him to submit 12 teams where he would consider being traded. He’s 32 and he has a $4.5 million salary cap hit for until the end of the 2014-2015 season.”
The Leafs have room in its cap to fit Malone in, but the long-term aspect of his contract may make additional acquisitions down the road challenging, especially at a time where the Leafs need to be consistant and established themselves as a postseason team.
Will Malone help the cause? Or does his contract hurt?