After making the New York Rangers out of training camp, it doesn’t appear there will be a storybook ending to Ryan Malone’s career.
The Rangers placed Malone, 35, on unconditional waivers on Tuesday, and it’s likely the team will terminate the veteran winger’s contract when he clears waivers. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that the Rangers’ move comes one day after Malone told the team he wants to “pack it in.” Malone signed a one-year, two-way contract (worth $700,000 in the NHL and $100,000 in the AHL) with Rangers in the off-season after being bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning following the 2013-14 campaign.
Malone had been taking part in informal skates with the Rangers before signing the one-year deal. The new contract came just five months after Malone had been arrested for a DUI and found with 1.3 grams of cocaine on his person.
Drafted in 1999 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Malone made an immediate impact with the team in 2003-04 as a rookie. In 81 games, he scored 22 goals and 43 points, was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team and played in the YoungStars Game at the All-Star Game. Malone went on to six 20-goal seasons, with his career bests coming in 2007-08 when he scored 27 goals and 51 points in 77 games with Pittsburgh.
Malone’s negotiating rights were dealt to the Lightning prior to the 2008-09 season, at which time the winger signed a massive seven-year, $31.5 million contract. The Penguins, which had reached the Stanley Cup Final the year prior with Malone on the roster, went on to win the Stanley Cup in 2008-09, while Malone’s Lightning failed to make the playoffs.
One of the highlights of Malone’s ten-year career came in 2009-10 when he was named to the U.S. Olympic team and was part of the squad that took home the silver medal at the Vancouver games.
In six games with the Rangers this season, the Pittsburgh, Pa., native had zero points, six shots, and averaged 10 minutes of ice time per game. He was waived by the team and sent to the AHL on Nov. 10, and has appeared in 24 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack, scoring four goals and 10 points. In 647 career NHL games, Malone registered 179 goals and 370 points.