Unrestricted free agent Ryan Malone is a smart guy. Yesterday, there were reports the Penguins were going to trade his negotiating rights to the Blue Jackets. All I could think was ‘Why would anyone want to play for Columbus?’ Especially when the only Columbus player worth being on a line with, Rick Nash, is a left wing, like Malone.
Malone told teams not to give up any players in a trade for his rights and to wait for him to hit the market. Obviously, this takes the puck off of Pittsburgh’s stick. They’re not going to get anything for Malone now. Whatever the Penguins offered him must be pretty low. Malone must be pretty mad to go out of his way to make sure the Penguins get absolutely nothing for him.
I was fascinated by the Blue Jacket interest in Malone, though, because while Malone is still very young, to this point, he’s similar to Todd Marchant, perhaps with a little bit more of a scoring touch or perhaps more the result of playing with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Malone had a huge season last year, as Marchant had a huge one right before he signed with Columbus. But with no complementary players, Marchant pretty much rotted in Ohio. I like to think Malone took note of that.
Also, congratulations to the San Jose Sharks who finally have a player in the Hockey Hall of Fame. I totally forgot Igor Larionov had played there. Congratulations to Larionov also.