Bad Move? Ryan Malone On The Way To Rangers Camp

Ryan Malone is on his way to NY

Ryan Malone is on his way to NY

As Larry Brooks of the NY Post broke yesterday, Ryan Malone is on his way to participate at the Rangers informal skate today.

According to Brooks’ article:

Liut told The Post by email that Malone, who had been skating at the Octagon Agency’s summer camp in Minnesota, had been collectively invited to join the Rangers’ pre-camp skates by a group of players including Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Marty St. Louis and Dominic Moore.

The biggest advocate would have to be St. Louis, who spent 6 years with Malone down in Tampa. Dominic Moore was also a teammate with the Lightning, while McDonagh and Stepan worked out with him in Minnesota. Those three felt he was worthy of a second chance also.

Ryan Malone’s personal demons aside (he was busted for DUI and cocaine possession in April), word around the NHL is he is a “great” teammate.

Ryan Malone arrest photo (USA TODAY)

Ryan Malone arrest photo (USA TODAY)

One well documented example involved newly acquired Simon Gagne in 2010. As the story goes, Ryan Malone who was wearing number 12 at the time, heard about the acquisition and gave up his number without being asked or wanting anything in return.

“I heard a lot of great things about him, but by giving number 12 away that just showed the person he is,” Gagne told reporters. It is those kinds of unselfish acts that make Malone a great character guy in the room and worthy of a roster spot on most NHL teams.

Just not this one.

The Rangers can’t afford to let a 34 year old player earn a spot on this roster. Aside from hitting the limit on contracts and very little room to even re-sign John Moore, he’s at best a 20 goal scorer on a top line. Is it wise to put him on one of the top 2 lines?

Is it worth delaying a player like JT Miller's development to sign Ryan Malone? (Getty)

Is it worth delaying a player like JT Miller’s development to sign Ryan Malone? (Getty)

If Ryan Malone were to make the team, what would he produce on the 3rd or 4th line? 5 goals, maybe 6? Last year in 57 games he notched 5 goals and 15 points. Is that worth taking away a year of development from JT Miller or Jesper Fast? Is it worth not giving Kevin Hayes big league experience? The answer is a firm NO!

Glen Sather and the Rangers giving Malone a second chance is a nice story. Offering him a two-way deal close to $750,000 is not. Even if he goes to the AHL, he’s taking up a valuable spot of some prospect the Rangers could develop. And for what? I can’t find a real good reason why.

 

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore